WWF found in Russia presumably the oldest couple of the snow leopards
Snow leopards named Khorgai and Guta are mostly likely the world's oldest known couple of snow leopards living in the wild. Both are at least 13 years old, this is the almost maximum recorded age of the snow leopard in nature. In zoos, with enough food and in comfortable conditions, snow leopards can live up to 21 years. They met at least 10 years ago and have at least two litters of cubs together.
Love story of Guta and Khorgai
- Guta, female snow leopard
Mother Guta and her tail.
- Khorgai, male snow leopard
Khorgai is the dominant male. He is also the likely father of the cubs born by the female named Bogusha. The first photographs of Khorgai were taken in 2011. He spends most of the year on the Altai part of the Chikhachev ridge. Without informing the border guards, without a visa, in winter, during heavy snowfalls, Khorgai migrates to Mongolia. It was Khorgai who was the first snow leopard in Altai to be filmed by camera traps in October 2011 on the Chikhachev Ridge; the snow leopard was already at least two years old. Recorded by Khorgai, a senior researcher at the Altai State Biosphere Reserve, Sergei Spitsyn, a legendary Russian researcher of snow leopards. Long-liver Khorgai has become a universal favorite of scientists and spectators. A corn-eared snow leopard, which is easily recognizable by a scar on the cheek and spots on the tail. Khorgai's tail has a specific pattern of spots: three spots, then two spots and one spot, like symbols in Morse code. Scientists use these patterns to distinguish snow leopards from each other.
Cameras captured Khorgai in 2021.
Recently each image of Khorgai and Guta is the joy for scientists. It means the snow leopards are alive and safe. The latest images of Khorgai obtained in 2021. Most likely, Khorgai has more offsprings, at least ten, including cubs in Mongolia.