If you have seen a picture and are wondering why do snow leopards bite their tails, you’ve come to the right place for some comprehensive answers. You see, many people assume there are scientific reasons behind this particular act but not everything is done for a concrete reason.
With Panthera uncia as their scientific name, snow leopards have some of the most tremendous hair coats to keep them insulated in extremely cold temperatures. Commonly found in the mountainous ranges in Asia, and Russia, their predatory nature requires them to dwell in vast steep terrains. They can leap 50 feet high up in the air with their powerful legs that keep a steady posture even in steep areas of a mountain. Their tails can be as long as 36 inches and weigh ranging from 60 to 120 pounds.
Their shy and solitary nature does not take away their carnivorous instincts. Even though 70% of the species is considered to be undiscovered yet, there is still a huge threat to their habitat around the world. So much so that National Geographic has labeled it as vulnerable towards being endangered and extinct. This calls for worldwide action towards preserving the species before it leads to a fate similar to the northern white rhino.
There are multiple organizations such as WWF and Snow Leopard Trust already doing this work in the field. They engage and work with communities that coexist with snow leopards in their natural habitat to help bring awareness and bring down the killing and hunting of the species. The conflict is mainly caused by the increasing human settlement and poaching, as a means to procure their skin and bones for several products. This is not a solitary act but rather similar to what the other endangered wildlife animals are facing.
This would not be as effective if the animal in question was wild, and menacingly dangerous. Snakes, for example, do not get as much public approval and support for the revival of any of their species. Which just makes it even sadder, snow leopards are some of the gentlest wild cats that become even tamer when kept in a controlled environment/captivity. Their furry bodies just become giant oversized kitties who like to play, cuddle and make themselves home wherever they want.
There is another entire argument regarding keeping wild animals in zoos and any other capacity of captivity that just doesn’t feel right. Animals have a home, and it is the forest/ocean depending on their habitat. Taking animals away from their homes to keep them in a contained environment where they are unable to live like they would in their natural environment seems brutal and unfair. So far, the nature of how zoo authorities come to possess wildlife animals is more or less ambiguous but there could be no other way than to take them from the forests.
Keeping that argument for another time and piece, snow leopards being entirely tame in a domestic environment does not mean they should be kept there. Regardless, snow leopards are the closest wild cats to domesticated cats. If you are an owner or have a friend who owns a cat, you have probably seen it chase its own tail like a lunatic. We are still not sure whether that is stupidity or intentional play. If the general wise aura that a cat gives is any indication, they 100% know what they are doing and love every bit of it.
Snow leopards are very similar to domesticated cats in that particular instance too. They love playing with their squishy furry tails. They tend to create their own personal means of entertainment with whatever they’ve got. Snow leopards look like those huge teddy bears that couples get on Valentine’s with their giant furry bodies. So huggable and just as squishy. Turns out, they themselves cannot resist their fluffy tails.
Onto the million-dollar question that made this article happen, snow leopards are known to bite their own tails, and they enjoy it. Turns out there is no internal scientific reason or instinct behind it. They just like to do it, plain and simple. If we really consider what this means, it really takes away the entire dangerous reputation wild cats get. If anything, it makes them much more appealing and attractive in all wild animals.
Some scientific professionals even believe they might do it to reduce stress. The idea that the big scary snow leopards, easily able to take down several humans at once, use their tails as stress relievers are too pure to take. Now if you are wondering what snow leopards nomming their tails means, you know it refers to when they bite their tails.