The play fighting moves of these two snow leopard cubs show kung fu masters have taken the animals as inspiration for their boxing skills. Leopard style, one of the so-called Five Animals styles of the legendary Shaolin temple, emphasises speed and cunning to overpower stronger opponents. Like these playful cubs, the practitioner is never still, but dips and dives in constant movement, evading the opponent’s lunges to pounce back with powerful counter-attacks.
This is Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard Cubs Show Kungfu Action together
Those cats were fast as lightning: One of the playful cubs deals its sibling a stout left paw to the chest as they frolic in the snow-covered enclosure
‘These twin snow leopard cubs show kung fu are fun to watch as they are very young and so tend to be very playful around each other.
‘The cubs usually play behind the bush, in their cave or on the top of the exhibit so it is not easy to get a decent shot of them.
‘This year we had a very cold winter here in New York and this particular day was the first warm sunny winter day.
‘I noticed that the cubs were more lively than usual and so I prepared my camera.
‘They started playing behind the bush but eventually they came out and chased each other on the rock in front of me.’
‘Fun to watch’: He said that the cubs usually play out of sight, but they were especially lively on the warm, sunny day and chased each other into the sights of his camera
In ancient China, the monks of the Shaolin temple developed their martial arts by taking inspiration from the wildlife around them.
They came up with the so-called Shaolin Five Animals – Tiger, Crane, Snake, Dragon and Leopard – each of which informed different aspects of their fighting skills.
Those following the path of the leopard seek to make a wily use of swift movements to overcome larger, stronger opponents.
It requires patience to choose the right moment, then speed and grace in launching devastating counter-attacks.
Snow Leopard Cubs Play around
Beautiful: Snow leopards are rare and hard to spot in the wild.
‘I’m always very excited when I know I got the shot I was aiming for, especially when I try to capture a specific behaviour.
‘Like children, young animals explore the world and their own body by playing.
‘This playful behaviour stimulates the animals and encourages them to explore and develop their skills.’
MailOnline last month featured two sets of pictures of snow leopards in the wild which showed how the crafty cats make use of natural camouflage to creep close to their prey before striking.
So well do they blend in with their surroundings, that the latest set, taken by photographer Adam Riley in the Himalayas, is believed to be the very first to show one of the rare predators making a kill.