An elusive snow leopard cub has been filmed butting an intrusive camera trap in its remote habitat in the Altai Mountains of southern Russia.
The powerful animals are rarely seen – and the kitten apparently likes it this way.
The footage shows the mother, Guta, walking past the camera followed by two of her cubs.
However, one of the cubs approaches the camera, putting its face right up close to the lens.
A video of snow leopards in the Altai Mountains of southern Russia shows one young cub disabling the camera trap set up to monitor the rarely spotted animals
The bold young leopard pokes its face into the camera, apparently disabling the prying lens.
The rare footage of the family is from the Chikhachev mountain ridge close to Russia’s state border with Mongolia.
At least eight rare cats have been identified on this ridge, including the snow leopard patriarch of the area, a 13-year-old called Khorgai.
Footage shows the mother, Guta, walking past the camera followed by two of her cubs (pictured)
One brave cub approaches the camera, putting its face right up close to the lens and manages to disable the camera
Experts from the World Wide Fund [WWF] for Nature are seeking to undertake a census of the species in this area.
‘WWF Russia and WWF Mongolia have joined forces to establish the exact number of snow leopards in the frontier zone of the two countries,’ said Alexander Karnaukhov, senior coordinator in the Altai-Sayan region.
It is unknown exactly how many snow leopards there are in Russia but a previous WWF census counted 61 snow leopards, including 23 cubs and 38 adult individuals.
Snow leopards are no longer classified as ‘endangered’ but their conservation status is now ‘vulnerable’, meaning they are still at risk of extinction.
Snow leopards have a gestation period of 90 to 100 days, and the cubs are generally born in April to June
Scientists say the rare animals are threatened by poaching for their fur, illegal snares and even climate change.
There is a global population of at least 4,700 snow leopards in the wild and their habitat covers more than 600,000 square miles, across 12 countries.
Snow leopards have a gestation period of 90 to 100 days, with the cubs generally born in April to June.
The litter sizes vary from one to five cubs.