The Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm adopted the endangered snow leopard as a mascot, nicknamed Kashmir, in the summer of 2011.
Why the snow leopard?
Joining the eco-driven movement at the college, a member of the Illinois Green Economy Network, the SWIC Athletics department wanted to do its part by adopting a new mascot that needs the help of Planet Earth.
“By choosing the snow leopard, we hope to draw attention and awareness to this endangered species,” said SWIC Athletic Director Jay Harrington.
The snow leopard, a Himalayan mountain cat born with striking blue eyes, was an easy match for the premier Blue Storm Athletics program. A natural predator, the snow leopard is known for its ability to survive in a rugged landscape and harsh climate. The cat also is the top predator in its ecosystem. These powerful hunters can leap as far as 50 feet and bring down prey up to three times their weight.