Pet Kittens Turn Into Snow Leopards


A man who picked up a pair of kittens and reared them as pets for six months was shocked to discover his “cats” were actually leopards when they started killing and eating his sheep.

The man, a farmer living in a rural area of the Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), was tending to his herds when he came upon a pair of “kittens”, which he took home and decided to keep as pets.

His new cats grew rapidly, and soon became rather large, looking almost like leopards. “Are these really cats?” he is said to have wondered, but having never seen a snow leopard, he merely thought it odd and left it at that.

One day, an incident occurred where one of his cats killed and ate one of his sheep. “That’s strange” he thought, and even wondered “They aren’t cats after all, could they be leopards?”


He solicited the attentions of an expert, who confirmed that the cats were in fact snow leopards, an officially designated endangered species, both internationally and in China.

Currently his feline companions are a healthy 15kg in weight, and guzzle 5kg of meat daily. “Just with the cost of feeding them, I can’t go on keeping them.”

However, with the cats being a protected species, he can neither sell them, nor release them, and thus he is placed in quite the predicament.

Via Itai News.

One of the following juvenile felines is a non-snow leopard – can you tell which?


More neko moe material to help you learn to discriminate between these almost indistinguishable creatures.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    06:49 25/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    awwww these snow leopard are so cute

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    13:38 10/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    buht wut,... yah gonna do when they start to eat your other cats?

    huh? huh? well?

    Avatar of LunarSD
    Comment by LunarSD
    03:44 13/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is the best article on all of sankaku. And the order of the pics at the end is just perfect :D

    Artefact seems to enjoy a healthy capacity for comedic editorialism. I can't think of any other Eng/Jap bilingual off the top of my head with quite this level of linguistic cunning on the Eng side.

    Not only in handling these "easy prey" headlines, but somehow even with the more serious, community-drama-inducing ones, which I often find myself laughing while reading through. Something I never used to be able to do.

    Artefact, whoever you are, you'll never read this post because it's on such an old piece, but I salute you for what you do ^_^

    I bet you'd be fun at crazy late night underground otaku parties.

    Comment by Sandor
    04:16 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Um, from what I can see, saying this is the best article on sanaku seems to be about like saying the sun is the most luminous object in the solar system. I found this whole place by searching "Snow leopard" and have browsed around a couple dozen pages, and I can't find ANYthing else on here that isn't porn (or some raunchy Japanimation variant thereof)! To quote Strong Bad, "Japanese cartoons are weird, man!" It just ticks me off that I can't find this article with all these pictures anywhere else! I can't very well send the link to THIS place to anyone!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:23 09/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    aww sooooo cute! i want one(as long as it doesnt try to eat me or my mom but man! what an idiot he couldn't tell?

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    Comment by MaidNiac
    02:46 01/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reminds me a lot of Aruru from Utawarerumono's "baby"..

    Comment by siddhi
    03:02 13/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    wish i could get some kittens lyk that & eventually turned into leopards...bad luck for me...he is extremely lucky...

    Avatar of Fyl
    Comment by Adieu
    01:52 23/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Aaaaah, meganeko!!!!

    Seriously, though, that farmer is just daft. Anyone with any sense whatsoever would stop farming and start showing the two off for money!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:49 27/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    hes lucky he could sell those leopard to a zoo for shitloads of money

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:40 26/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    After a few months,how could he not realize the difference between a kitten and a leopard?

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:46 25/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i want it too..cute @_@

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    21:08 17/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    what the gov't don't know wont hurt, let them bitches go in the forest, and claim they ran away.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:41 27/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Awesome news xD

    Avatar of foeevaddr
    Comment by foeevaddr
    02:15 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    as long as it didnt do any harm to its owner or other people its cool. poor sheeps though lol

    Avatar of Dullahan8
    Comment by Dullahan8
    04:31 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The sheep were gonna get eaten either way.

    Comment by Robocop
    08:47 22/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    yes, but if he sold them to humans to be eaten, he would have been paid. this is china after all.

    Comment by Kimono38
    09:59 23/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    He can skin them before sell their meat. $$$

    Avatar of Bokusatsu Tenshi
    Comment by XSportSeeker
    02:18 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    uh... I think kitty is hungry. He just snatched my arm a bit.

    Comment by ChrowX
    02:58 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's a strange bit of fate.. I think this guy could probably start an organization of some kind to get donations and food sent in as support for raising those two. That's what other Big Cat sanctuaries do, isn't it?

    Avatar of kebrus
    Comment by kebrus
    03:22 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    oh GOD! i can't stand it, they are SO DAMN CUTE!

    Comment by Meow
    01:47 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    A snow leopard is fine too.

    Also, they are sooooo cute!!

    Avatar of Rakshasa
    Comment by Rakshasa
    13:31 10/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)


    That translation of what is really an epic pun is so bad it loses all its meaning.

    Comment by Garland
    00:23 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)


    I actually started to compare the first couple of pictures, but after scrolling down... XD

    Couldn't he just donate them to a zoo or a Research Institute?

    Stupid question, though, as he has most likely already tried that. '3'

    Avatar of lerrymaru
    Comment by maru
    00:36 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    He was lucky to have sheeps. Or he would be dead by now..

    Comment by Sandor
    04:49 22/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    maru, you couldn't be more wrong. (I guess you'll never read this since I'm coming in 7 months later but others might.) It may surprise you to know that there is no incident in recorded history - that's right, the entire recorded history of the human species - of a snow leopard killing a human being. Or at least there wasn't in 1980 when I read that in National Geographic. But if they managed to go 5000 years already without killing a human, they probably went another 29. So you'd best not confuse snow leopards with leopards, which kill hundreds of people every single year. They are not the same species. It's a shame the people who named them gave them that name. They're not even nearby relatives (SL can't roar, for instance). And if you can't tell just from the pictures at the top, snow leopards are well known for being very non-confrontational critters. Not vicious at all. You're far safer with the average snow leopard than the average human. Certainly a lot of them are killed by us.

    Furthermore, the MOST inherently vicious of the big cats, the regular leopard, would almost certainly not kill a foster human parent even if it was literally starving to death. In fact, the cat would be fiercely protective. Now other people, they'd better watch out.... especially small children. But the human who reared it, he's about the safest human being on the planet.

    Here's the human fatality tally as I understand it:

    Leopards: hundreds per year.
    Tigers: hundreds per year (but all in one particular location in india)
    Lions: tens per year.
    Mountain lions: less than 100 in recorded history
    Jaguars: I don't know that one.
    Cheetahs: if anyone's been killed by one, it was because of rabies.

    Comment by Sandor
    05:23 22/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I found some more retellings of this story:

    and it looks like some people HAVE been giving him financial assistance, so worry not.

    It also paints a slightly different picture than what it says here. It says here that they killed one of his sheep... but it fails to mention that he had been keeping them locked in the sheep barn. A lot of sheep locked in one barn with 2 snow leopards.... who could blame them! Like fish in a barrel, so to speak.

    Avatar of Karma
    Comment by Karma
    01:11 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not necessarily. Since he had raised the animals, they will probably see him as a friend. Haven't you seen the vids of "Christian the lion"? (youtube it)

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:34 10/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not necessarily. Raising animals doesn't ensure safety. Domesticating animals takes generations, and more often than not keeping a wild animal, even if you raise it from a kitten, can result in it deciding you're food one day.

    It's risky, to say the least.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:39 24/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    liked how u used the word food :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:02 20/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    omg that clip makes me cry everytime i watch it!

    Comment by kadian1364
    00:51 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wait, since they're endangered and all, wouldn't some international wildlife organization offer to take them off his hands and take them to some good zoo or whatnot?

    And who just "finds" snow leopard kittens? It takes tracking experts years (or at least several months) to even see them in the wild, and this guy here just happens upon a litter.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:33 09/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess the reason they are so hard to find in the wild is because they all live around sheep farms.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:57 06/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol win

    Comment by Sandor
    07:51 22/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The other telling of this story in one of the links I gave above said that he found them wet and shivering in the cold. It's in fact very EASY to stumble on baby animals of a species which are very good at avoiding humans as adults. Once a baby squirrel ran right up my leg. Didn't fear me or anything. And it was in my grandmother's back yard, in the middle of her fenced off 1 acre lot, not in a public area, so I know it hadn't been "tamed". All that has to happen is for mom to die or abandon them for some reason. This isn't even the first story I read about a farmer in China in 2008 raising snow leopard cubs. I think the other one was in Nepal though, and that was just one cub. And he knew it was a snow leopard from the beginning. By the way, it's also not so implausible that he didn't know it when he found them - when they're just old enough to have their eyes open, they really do look like regular stripy domestic kittens. Here are some pictures to prove it:
    The page these came from (at the very bottom):

    Comment by anon
    01:27 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's China.
    Now, think about 'international wildlife organizations' again.

    Avatar of RaikenTB
    Comment by raikentb
    07:21 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Crazy. They really do look like ordinary kittens at first.

    Comment by Tim
    18:09 16/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Art, we need a snow leopard gallery. Period.

    Avatar of Keigami
    Comment by Keigami
    02:32 17/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Another Neko moe (mini) gallery strikes again XD

    Avatar of thorn101
    Comment by thorn101
    02:17 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    CAN I HAVE ONE? T_T its soooo cute

    Avatar of Vetus
    Comment by Vetus
    11:53 06/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol. I remember an episode from a cartoon series where happened something similar. XD

    Comment by Trezaquets
    10:59 16/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's really cute,,.,.
    but what a surprise to see your "cat" grow bigger and bigger, and it became a leopard...

    Comment by D4RK-PH0ENiX
    21:33 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want one for me :3 *not thinking about the cost of food for them, scary*

    Comment by Lord Byegone
    13:07 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Es una lastima que los gatos domésticos no sean así de lindos.
    A mi me gustaría tener uno de mascota y sacarlo a pasear, pero imagino que terminaría pasándome algo como lo que le paso a Roy Horn O_o

    Comment by OiD
    10:52 13/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Con lo lindos que son... que me saquen a pasear!! xD

    Avatar of alex1_phang3
    Comment by alex1_phang3
    13:25 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wanna snow leopard!!!

    They're sooo cute~ (besides the eating sheep part)

    Comment by EmO
    16:59 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Deary
    17:00 15/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)


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