There are 83 species of mammals in Kyrgyzstan. The famous ones are deer, snow leopard (bars), mountain sheep (Arkhar), mountain goat - ibex, yaks and a unique specimen of a sheep - Marko Polo sheep. Also one can find some smaller animals: badgers, martens, marmots, porcupines, weasels, otters, ermines, wild boars, roe deer, foxes, wolves, bears and others.
Snow leopard or also called Bars is a rare animal in Kyrgyzstan. It is in the Red Book and enumerates only about 350 animals on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. A snow leopard has cream or grey colored fur and large brown spots on the neck and paws. It is about 100-130 sm. Long. The tail is 80-100 sm. Long. At the shoulder the height is 60 sm. The makes are heavier than females. (males - 45-50 kg., females - 35 kg.). Bars lives up to 20 years old. It feeds itself with goats and rarely deer, hare, birds. Bars is a solitary animal and it never dares to attack people in large groups. Snow leopards live high in the mountains at the altitude of 3000-4000 m. a. s. l. The breading period snow leopards is between December to March and there are from 1 to 5 cubs are born. The cubs usually stay with mother for a year. The only worthy enemy of a bars is a wolf. Snow leopards are hunted for their fur, body parts and are the ingredients in Chinese medicine as a substitute to a tiger bone. It takes from 6 to 11 skins to make a fur coat. But it was forbidden to haunt these animals in 1959, though every year some 50 specimens are caught for zoos anyway. If in a Kyrgyz yurt a skin of snow leopard is hanging on the wall, it is supposed as a family heirloom, which is inherited from father to son. Snow leopard is a symbol of Bishkek city.
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