Snow Leopard Trust awarded $15,000 by Idaho zoo’s conservation fund

Boise votes for snow leopards!

We are pleased to announce that the Snow Leopard Trust was selected to receive a grant from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund. The source of the funds was the community, and the public had the chance to decide which projects would receive funding. The Snow Leopard Trust was a favorite among the voters and was awarded $15,000! Thank you Zoo Boise Conservation Fund and thank you to all the people who voted for protecting snow leopards!


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Kansas zoo’s snow leopards enjoying the cooler weather

Snow leopards waiting for a visit

Published 11/20/2009 in Commentary : Columns

This is a great time of the year to visit the zoo. As the weather starts to cool down, many of our animals become more active.

I’m sure we have all experienced the overwhelming heat of summer when the only thing that sounds good is relaxing in a shady pool of water. At the zoo, we make sure to provide many opportunities for our animals to do just that.

We also give them special ice treats and indoor areas to keep them comfortable through the hot summer days. No matter how enjoyable that summer soak might be, our hairier animals are always excited when the temperature drops.

Our snow leopards probably are one of the zoo’s biggest lovers of the cooler weather. These beautiful cats are native to the mountains of Asia, from Bhutan and Nepal in the south to the upper reaches of Mongolia and even Russia in the North.

They live at elevations of more than 10,000 feet where the terrain is rugged and the weather is cold and dry. Snow leopards are well suited to their names, not only because of their white fur, but also because of the snowy regions they inhabit.

A snow leopard’s body is perfectly adapted for its lifestyle. The most obvious adaptation is its thick and fluffy coat. This fur provides incredible insulation against temperatures that regularly drop to 20 degrees below zero and have been recorded as low as 60 degrees below zero. When these temperatures are combined with deep snow and blowing wind, it is important to cover every inch of exposed skin.

Luckily, that long tail is more than just decoration. It is used for covering up sensitive noses from chilling breezes, as well as for balance.

If you ever have a chance to look at a snow leopard’s feet, you might think they look just a little odd. In order to stay on top of the snow, these cats have over-sized paws that act like kitty snowshoes.

Of course, they don’t suffer from any of the awkwardness most first time snowshoers experience.

The leopard’s short forelegs and long hind legs combine with their powerful build to allow them to leap from one rocky ledge to another in search of their favorite prey — mountain sheep and goats, all while staying on top of deep snow drifts. If you have ever been amazed by the sight of a mountain goat standing on the side of an almost vertical slope, just imagine the agility of the cat that hunts it.

Of course these cats are more than meets the eye. They also have enormous lungs and nasal cavities. The lungs help them get enough oxygen from the high mountain air. Their enlarged nasal cavities make sure the air gets warmed before it reaches their delicate lung tissue.

Unfortunately, these cats are endangered in the wild. It is difficult to get an exact count, but there are likely only a few thousand individuals left in their natural range.

This decline is due to a number of factors including poaching for their fur, habitat loss and loss of prey due to land development. The good news is that zoos around the world are working to ensure the future of these animals in the wild.

If you are interested in more information about snow leopards or would like to learn how you can help, there are a number of things you can do. Visit to get more information.

You also can bundle up and stop by the zoo! Our snow leopards are here to help inspire people to take action, and we are always more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Visit our award winning Web site at


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Vodka sales will benefit Snow Leopard Trust

Snow Leopard raises glass to Whyte & Mackay fundraising


ONE of Scotland’s largest whisky makers has unveiled a partnership with what’s claimed to be the world’s first ethically distilled VODKA.

Glasgow-based Whyte & Mackay say it is donating 15% from profits of Snow Leopard to support the Snow Leopard Trust.

The vodka itself has been a rare sight, selling just 1000 cases a year, after being founded by owner Stephen Sparrow.

He’s already helped raise £15,000 for the charity supporting the big cat he named the drink after.

But after entering an agreement with Whyte & Mackay they’ve been able to raise their target to 100,000-bottles a year to provide the financial security the Trust needs.

Stephen said: “Although you rarely see these magnificent cats the world would be a far poorer place without them.

“Over time I’ve realised that I need to think bigger if I’m going to meet this objective, so it was time to get help.”

He added: “It’s a cause I love.”

Marketing, Nick Garland, wanted to add a new vodka product to the portfolio already.

But the lure of helping a respected charity helped seal the deal.

He said: “I have long admired what Stephen has done by creating a fantastic quality product with a responsible aim behind it.

“I also immediately recognised there was a gap for a luxury vodka in our portfolio and Snow Leopard fits the bill perfectly.”

There are thought to be fewer than 3500 surviving Snow Leopards in the world.

The money raised for the charity will be used to help conservation project and encourage farmers in Asia not to kill the cats for fur.


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Photographer donates proceeds to Snow Leopard Trust

Photographer to Donate Proceeds from Award-Winning Snow Leopard Photograph to the Snow Leopard Trust

NewswireToday – /newswire/ – Seattle, WA, United States, 03/18/2009 – Proceeds from “Endangered Beauty,” the snow leopard portrait by acclaimed Fine Art Photographer, Stephen W. Oachs, will be used to promote awareness of this remarkable endangered species through an artistic partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust.

Photographer, Stephen W. Oachs, is honored to have his photograph contribute to the important mission of the Snow Leopard Trust, an organization dedicated to protecting the endangered snow leopard.

Oachs is a passionate nature photographer, so it was a tremendous honor for him when Endangered Beauty won voter’s choice in the National Geographic 2008 International Photography Contest. “But it means even more to be able to offer the photograph to help spread awareness through an organization as honored as the Snow Leopard Trust,” said Oachs. “What I have learned about the endangered snow leopard is a tragedy. To be able to contribute to bringing awareness to their situation means a lot to me. I was excited when the Trust approached me about use of my photo, and I am dedicating 10% of all product sales of Endangered Beauty to the Snow Leopard Trust.”

To view the photograph, Endangered Beauty by Stephen Oachs, simply log on to the International Snow Leopard Trust home page.

About Snow Leopard Trust

Founded in 1981 and based in Seattle, WA, the Snow Leopard Trust ( is the oldest and largest organization working to protect the endangered snow leopard. The Snow Leopard Trust manages programs in five countries representing roughly 75% of the world’s snow leopard range, and is conducting the largest and most technologically advanced snow leopard research project to date. The Snow Leopard Trust protects the snow leopard and the mountain ecosystem on which it depends by using a comprehensive approach that combines scientific research, public education, and on-the-ground conservation programs that give people an incentive for protecting rather than poaching the cats.

About Stephen W. Oachs

Stephen W. Oachs ( is a successful entrepreneur, technology veteran and award-winning photographer working from San Jose, California and the San Francisco Bay area. Oachs’ photography has won numerous awards and photography contests including National Geographic, Popular Photography Magazine and the National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest. His photo of the Fly Geyser in the Black Rock Desert will be in the Singh-Ray national ad campaign. His work is sold online and through art shows and galleries. He holds on-location photography workshops, and is available for presentations and speaking engagements.


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