Snow leopard munches on a squirrel (video)

Video Link. A man films a snow leopard snarfing up a squirrel in a zoo enclosure, while his little son watches in curiosity. (thanks, Joe Sabia!)


  1. That was a squirrel that was tired of life. The ennui in his eyes is visible as he stops in his tracks and leaves his tail dangling, deliciously.

  2. That’s one slow, or very unlucky, squirrel. The snow leopard doesn’t make a lightning move, just a respectably fast reach-up.

    Its kind of neat that a zoo animal still has the instincts to snag, kill, and eat. My dog caught maybe a half-dozen small critters, and one ground squirrel, and only ate maybe two or three mice or moles.

    (She did eat an entire pocket gopher. Twice.)

      1. Well, knowing  dogs (at least labs), I’d give even odds on the it being thrown up and eaten again.

    1. “Its kind of neat that a zoo animal still has the instincts to snag, kill, and eat.”
      Well… it’s a little puddy tat! I think it’s neat how little puddy tats like lions and tigers behave much in the same way as house cats… just a bit bigger… and all of them, no matter how domesticated, have still the killer instinct.

    2. In all fairness, the squirrel might not be used to being eaten by snow leopards in a city. Apparently the educational value of zoos goes both ways.

  3.  Eating a squirrel is snow leopard language for, “Hello little boy. I hope you grow up with a terrific sense of irony.”

  4. Oh Shrug. It’s a predator. What do you expect it to do when presented with an animate toy? Cat. Rat. Done.

    (And the kid can probably deal with it better than you can.)

  5. I feel like I should make some pithy comment about what OS X updates do to my performance and battery life here…

  6. The dad was like, “Oh no!”

    But you could see on the kids face he was like, “That was awesome! Lets go find some more squirrels to feed him!”

  7. Wish I’d had a camera the day I saw two cheetahs careening madly around their large enclosure…they were so fast, it was difficult to see that the one in the lead had a mouth full of squirrel, with the second cheetah in hot pursuit…”Hey, gimme! I want one, too!!” That was Sacramento Zoo, not far from the Zoo in this vid; apparently we have particularly stupid squrrels here…

  8. THAT must be the real solution to my ‘fruit-tree-denuding backyard squirrel overpopulation’ problem.

    1. The Daisy air rifle company has provided a reasonable solution to my similar problem.

  9. Bravo. Best day of the week for that zoo-dweller I’m sure.
    This deserves to be part of their regular routine.
    Though I’m sure they would also appreciate a bit more of a hunt/stalk/capture process than this easy kill showed.
    A partnership with the local animal “sanctuary” could be in order…

  10. The father mostly seems upset that the interpretation of the cat’s motivation and behaviour that he foisted on his child is suddenly shown up as being completely inappropriate. He’s caught in a dilemma: either change the interpretation in the face of new evidence, thus damaging the image of himself as knowledgeable he wishes to present to his son, or stick with it and blame the cat for acting inappropriately, thus damaging his sense of his own credibility.

  11. I love how he looks at the kid afterwards like,”What are you looking at?  I’m a fricken snow leopard eating a small treat here. What’d ya expect?”

  12. I’m more put off by him calling it “a tiger”. The should be a law forcing parents to read the signs before naming the animals to their kids. 

  13. Love that the kid was totally into it. 

    Just a couple days ago, I watched an immature Cooper’s hawk take down and kill a sparrow out in my back yard. The hawk tossed the sparrow around the way a cat would play with a mouse. Finally, the sparrow was dead and the hawk took off with it. Circle of life, indeed.

  14. The father sounds a little too upset that the cat is doing what comes natural to it.  You would think it would be a good time for a lesson to be taught about the circle of life.

  15. I hate the puss dad in this video. ” Oh no. Dear God. No”? If you are truly as affected by this horrible sight ( something I think we all want  to see when we go to the zoo, not a sleepy depressed animal hiding behind behind some stage setting), put down the camera and shield your child’s eyes! He reacts like it is the Hindenburg. The child has the appropriate response.

    1. I don’t think the Dad was affected – I think he found it amusing. His “Oh no Dear God No” doesn’t come across as horrified, more like animal kingdom schadenfreude. Or a sportscaster saying “Oooh dear god. That had to hurt, Bob!”
      He probably wasn’t sure what to say to his son because he wasn’t sure how his son interpreted the scene. His son’s smile suggests that he was cool with the situation.

      Even if I’m wrong, you can’t really judge a person’s character by their reaction to one episode of predation.

  16. Zoos would have much higher attendance numbers if they facilitated free predation. The animals would be happier. Children would learn. Everybody wins!

    Well, except the prey. But hey….

      1. I’ll admit, that wasn’t very sporting. To get the crowds I’m talking about, you’d need a herd of cows and stadium seating.

  17. That man is totally unprepared to deal with the basic facts of nature. I mean, what did he think the pretty cats eat?

  18. When people talk about how awesome it is to be a parent, this is what they are referring to.

  19. That looked like a fat, tame, hand-fed zoo squirrel who forgot what side of the enclosure he was on.  I particularly liked his leisurely hop onto the fence, as if to say to the snow leopard “hey buddy, we’re not going to have any problems h. . .OH GOD HIS TEETH ARE IN MY SPLEEN!  MY SPLEEEEEEEE *crunch*”

    As for the kid, yeah, pretty much what my reaction would be too.  Nature rockin’ it out, and I got lucky and caught the show.

  20. Reminds me of the time I went to the San Diego Zoo and happened across a few adorable hoglets of some sort, who had gotten hold of an unlucky jungle fowl hen and were in the process of pulling her to pieces. A zookeeper was standing by; she said, “Yep, they eat meat!” Indeed.

  21. “So, Boris, what are we feeding big cats today?”

    “We are feeding. . .squirrel.”


    “Da.  Squirrel.  Is new idea.  We release squirrel into enclosure, big cats stalk squirrel, squirrel attempts to escape, boom, big cats eat squirrel.  Is brilliant.”

    “Can we also feed big cats moose?”

    “Let’s start with squirrel.”

Comments are closed.