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Not roaring but chuffing – hear a snow leopard’s calls

The news story said hear the snow leopard in Russia roar but snow leopards are the only big cat that cannot roar. This is due to the physiology of their vocal tract which lacks the thick pad of elastic tissue that enables the other cats like lions and tigers to roar.

Many zoo keepers and snow leopard conservationists use the word “prusten” for the sound the cat makes. The word is German and means to puff and to blow. It is also sometimes called “chuffing” and sounds like a cross between a meow and a roar.

The sound is enough for the cats to communicate to each other in the wild when looking for mates.

Listen to a recording of a wild snow leopard in Russia –

And hear a snow leopard chuffing in a zoo.

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