A national nature reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province released Friday footage taken by infrared cameras, showing a snow leopard roaming in the core habitat of giant pandas.
This was the first time to have spotted a snow leopard there.
According to the administration of the Wolong National Nature Reserve, two of their infrared cameras, set apart 200 meters away from each other, captured the big cat wandering around in a forest with an altitude of some 3,000 meters earlier on June 3 and June 4.
"The photographed snow leopard might be on a trip migrating from one habitat to another, or it was going after his prey, which can be the reasons why the cameras recorded its activities in the area," said Li Sheng, a researcher with the School of Life Science at Peking University.
Under China's top-class protection, pandas are forest species, and snow leopards are alpine species, which means the altitude of their habitats are quite different.
But there is an overlapped part at elevations from 3,000 to 4,000 meters. So, it makes sense that such a "visit" takes place once in a while, said an expert from the natural reserve.
"As the snow leopard stayed less than 24 hours in the territory of giant pandas, it is not likely for the big cat to run into any giant panda. Even if it did, it's not likely that their meeting triggered a fight," said Duan Zhaogang, an official at the administration of the nature reserve.