Snow Leopard, by Liz Brownlee
Snow leopards live high in the mountain ranges of central and southern Asia in the winter, and even higher in the summer.
Their coats are extremely warm, and at rest they wrap their 1 metre-long tails around themselves to keep out the chill.
They are the most beautiful of big cats; there is no record of one attacking a human being.
These wonderful animals live on a species of blue sheep called bharal, and wild goats called ibex.
Sadly this food is becoming scarce, as these animals are also illegally hunted by humans. To sustain themselves they have to take domestic animals which brings them into conflict with farmers.
They are also killed for their bones which go into Chinese medicine, and for their fur.
They are listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List, as there are only an estimated 4,000 left in the wild, and in many areas they are now extinct.
If you like this poem, perhaps you’d like my book, Animal Magic, that contains facts and poems about endangered animals.
Poem © Liz Brownlee