Maria age 11
by Maria Chang
One of the world's most intriguing and endangered creatures, the snow leopard, is my favorite animal. Endangered since 1970, its population has only decreased for several reasons.
1. The snow leopard's striking appearance makes them desirable attire for humans who hunt them.
2. People have encroached on the snow leopard's habitat.
3. Snow leopards prey on small mammals including some pesky rodents, the occasional sheep or goat, and, rarely, domestic pets, which causes herders and pet owners to kill the leopards out of revenge.
4. By revenge killing or killing snow leopards for fur, humans are disturbing the natural food chain and endangering the leopards.
Nature takes care of itself. Snow leopards natural prey are rodents who cause problems for farmers. Since humans have encroached on the leopard's habitat, it is natural that the leopard occasionally also kills domestic pets or livestock. Between revenge killings and habitat encroachment as well as the illegal fur trade, humans are displacing snow leopards and upsetting the natural order.