Do snow leopards hunt in packs?

Snow leopards do not hunt in packs or groups. I could leave it there but I will add a bit more information about how this wonderful wild cat species hunts. They usually attack from above their prey. Their prey is often blue sheep, ibex, livestock, marmots and smaller prey such as rodents and game birds – it depends where the cat lives. They eat quite a lot of vegetation too.

Snow leopard Tost Nature Reserve Mongolia

Snow leopard Tost Nature Reserve Mongolia

Like other wild cats, snow leopards approach their prey as closely as possible before launching an attack. They hide behind objects within their habitat as they approach. They rely on surprise and their athleticism to catch prey. They are wonderfully adept at running over rocky terrain on steep slopes. They are content to chase prey across slopes or down mountain sides and they present an astonishing sight when they do this because they do it with such expertise and athletic ability.

They might chase across what we would regard as treacherous terrain for up to 300 meters. Over this distance prey can make a mistake, lose its footing and be caught. Attacking from above gives an initial advantage and momentum.

The snow leopard hunts alone and hunts very successfully. There are clashes with farmers who lose livestock to snow leopards. The Snow Leopard Trust is working with farmers to minimise conflicts between them and snow leopards to reduce retaliatory attacks by farmers on snow leopards. The only creature that the snow leopard should be concerned about is humans while wolves are its competitor for prey. Lower down on the Himalayan slopes the snow leopard range occasionally overlaps with the common leopard and sometimes with the Asiatic wild dog.

Below is a description of a snow leopard moving through extremely rugged terrain in Nepal as recounted by Gary Ahlborn:

“The leopard moves slowly west, crossing Tillisha Stream. It doesn’t use the main trail; instead it remains within a foot of the sheer escarpment edge. After walking a hundred feet it stops and with it ears cocked forward peers intently to the river below, as though it were stalking prey. Then the cat jumps and somehow clings to the steep slab of rock and easily traverses down the hundred foot cliff and onto the rock for below.” [Hillard D. 1989 Vanishing tracks, New York: Arbor House].

I hope this helps.

Ten of the best snow leopard photos that you will see

Source: Wild Cats of the World pages 380-383.

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Do snow leopards hunt in packs? — 2 Comments

  1. No, they don’t hunt in packs.
    Actually, I can’t think of any wild cat that does.
    They aren’t pack like felines.
    Please correct me if wrong.
    I know that “dog – like” animals, like coyotes or wolves, may hunt in packs though.

    • Yes agreed. The word ‘pack’ applies to dogs really but in this instance it refers to groups. The title is a Google search term so it is used by people who don’t know the wild cats. Lions hunt cooperatively though. Hope u are well Dee.

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