Snow leopard quadruplets have been caught on film in the wild for the first time, a surprise find for researchers tracking the endangered species.
There are only between 4,080 and 6,590 snow leopards left in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Foundation, which announced the footage Wednesday. And their numbers are falling.
Found in 12 countries, including China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and Mongolia, the leopards have evolved to live in some of the harshest environments on earth, but have fallen victim to habitat loss and so-called "revenge" hunting by farmers whose livestock can quickly become prey.
The footage of an adult snow leopard with her four cubs was recorded in Mongolia, the WFF said.
While litters of up to three cubs have been observed before, the quadruplets are a first, according to the WFF.
Fun fact: The snow leopard can leap six times the length of its body.
Watch the rare family squad here:
Jason Wells is deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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