A new £1m home is being built for the snow leopards at the Welsh Mountain Zoo.

The 'Silk Road' enclosure will feature glass panelling and a raised walkway so visitors feel like they are face to face with the impressive creatures.

The project also aims to further the zoo's conservation efforts for the vulnerable species.

Estimations of how many snow leopards are left in the wild range between about 4,000 and 7,500. The population is under threat from things like habitat loss, climate change and the illegal wildlife trade.

The zoo is currently home to two snow leopards. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales
The project is being partly crowdfunded and endorsed by celebrities like Dame Judi Dench. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The zoo has two snow leopards who have both lived there for 11 years. They are part of the European breeding programme and their most recent litter has now moved on to create two more breeding pairs.

Their new enclosure will also feature a rocky terrain that is closer to their natural habitat as in the wild, snow leopards are found in the mountains of Central Asia.

Tom Lawrence, who looks after the snow leopards at the zoo in Colwyn Bay, said the animals "are a lot more gentle, they are a lot more laid back" than other large cats.

He added that this new project shows that the zoo is "committed to the future of snow leopards".

The project should be completed in roughly six months time.

Estimates put the number of snow leopards living in the wild at between 4,000 and 7,500. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales