Snow leopard faring well after rescue, release into Chinas wild
A rescued snow leopard is faring well and can move 5.86 km on average every day, after having been released into the wild in north China in September 2021, researchers said.
The range of its activities spanned 45 km from east to west and 81 km from north to south, covering most areas of Helan Mountain, said Shi Kun, head of the Wildlife Institute, Beijing Forestry University, citing satellite tracking data collected by Jan. 10, 2022.
About 96 percent of its active sites were in the protected Helan Mountain national nature reserve which has been strictly protected with little human interference, he said.
Researchers conducted a field survey on the hunting sites of the snow leopard and found it can feed with a high frequency, feasting on a blue sheep or a red deer every four or five days.
On Sept. 5, 2021, the snow leopard was found in a feeble state in Siziwang Banner in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and taken to a wildlife rescue station for treatment. Wildlife experts provided it with water and fresh meat, as well as a health checkup.
The snow leopard gradually recovered and was released back into the wild on Sept. 22, 2021. It was fitted with a satellite tracking collar through which its living conditions in the wild can be monitored.
Snow leopards are under China's highest national-level protection and are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The species mainly inhabits the Himalayas in central and southern Asia at an altitude of 2,500 to 4,500 meters.
In China, they are found in the alpine areas in southwestern and northwestern regions including Tibet, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Gansu and Inner Mongolia.