Total Eclipse: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Festival of Science, Music, and Celestial Wonder. August 19–21, 2017 in Eastern Oregon.

A Rare Glimpse of Three Snow Leopards Snuggling

The big cats were caught in a Chinese camera trap.

There are only around 4,000 snow leopards left in the world, most of which live in China, where they maintain a reputation for being notoriously difficult to spot, much less study. But recently some scientists with the conservation group Panthera caught not one, not two, but three of the big cats lounging around in front of a camera trap. They snuggled and napped, among other chill activities.

The trap was located near a monastery in Qinghai province, in central China. It was set up after one researcher came upon some howling dogs, who had apparently interrupted another snow leopard’s breakfast, Liu Mingyu wrote on Panthera’s website.

The camera trap was then set up in what turned out to be a very fortuitous position, and within a few days captured what you see above: snow leopard gold.