Thursday, 29 December 2011

Snow Leopards!

Whilst taking Posky for his acupuncture yesterday morning, I learned from Linda the Vet that I HAD to take my camera and visit Twycross Zoo to see the Snow Leopards.  Now I'm not a fan of zoos - although I do realise that the best ones are a necessary evil due to the way humans have endangered many animals and their habitats.  Tycross is involved with breeding programmes for endangered species and also their conservation in the wild (including Snow Leopards).  Their pair had cubs in the summer and they are just gorgeous - they have an enormous enclosure to live in and what is brilliant is that the Visitor Centre is built onto the side of this, with windows looking directly into it - a gift to anyone with a camera.  Here are some of the photos I took.

Snow Leopards
'Stealth - I haz it...'
Here's one of the cubs trying to sneak up on his Mum.

Snow Leopards
... playing with a stick he found

Snow Leopards
... and having a tussle with his sibling.

Snow Leopards
This is Mum having a well-earned break from cub watch.

Snow Leopards
'Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of human nom...'
Here's Mum again - looking at the strange
human animals.

Snow Leopards
The low winter sun was a bit tricky, but did mean you could get some
nice silhouettes.


Want to adopt a Snow Leopard? (Not literally! - Although it might help keep certain small cats in order... mentioning no names but you know who you are).  Twycross has an animal adoption scheme that helps them with their conservation work.  Click here for more info.

6 comments:

Au and Target said...

I'm with you on zoos. A necessary evil indded. Gorgeous pics! You are clever with a camera.

Laloofah said...

And I too am in agreement with you on the issue of zoos. Good to hear that Twycross is involved with conservation programs for endangered species in the wild.

Snow Leopards are so gorgeous, and you got some truly fantastic photos! The cubs are adorable, of course, and that first "Stealth" photo along with the last two amazing photos absolutely steal the show! Perfect captures.

And what did your smaller, more domesticated (but in Charlie's case, at least, no less fearsome) felines have to say when you came home with these photos and the faint scent of leopard on your person? Pepper was probably wanting to go and discuss the finer points of Tibetan Buddhism with them, while I'm sure Charlie was more interested in getting together to compare claw sharpness and exchanging stalking techniques. ;-)

Barbara said...

Thanks :O) Ahem, I have to say that the Snow Leopards became a bit of a sore point with the kitty cats - I think I may have extolled their virtues a little too much. Charlie stomped off into the study (after saying they looked 'soft' to him and muttering dire threats if one stuck its head through his cat flap). Pepper looked hurt (not helped by David telling her she was very low down on the 'favourites' list since I'd seen them). Posky has been saying he has Snow Leopard in his ancestry, which is unlikely but a nice thought, whilst Mrs P just sat on me to shut me up. The shop at Twycross does sell quite a lot of Buddhas etc so I may have to get Pepper another to pacify her!

Gattina said...

I am not for zoo either, but some are very nicely done now and animals are respected. Your pictures are gorgeous !

Kathy said...

What beautiful creatures! I really like that capture of the leopard and kid "stare down". Happy New Years to you!

Kathy

Laloofah said...

I'm still chuckling over the image of Charlie saying the Snow Leopards look "soft" to him and then stomping off to the study!

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