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What Happened to the Baby Snow Leopards in Born in China

I attended the interview as a guest of Disney

The beautiful Disneynature film Born in China has been released recently on Blu-ray and digital download. While I was at Disney World last month, I had the extreme honor of talking with the creative genius behind the film Born in China, Roy Conli. Conli is well-known for his work on Big Hero 6, Tangled, and Born in China was his first time working on a Disneynature film.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Cochrane Hay‎

Everyone who sees the film is captivated by the story of the snow leopards. The beautiful animals live in a place where many humans could never survive, and the story that we followed in the movie exposed my children to how the snow leopards survive in their harsh climate. Since the movie has already been released in theaters and Blu-ray, many already know that there is a death in the film that leaves baby snow leopards alone to fight to survive in the wild.

Ever since my children have seen the film, they have not stopped asking about what happened to the baby snow leopards? Did they survive? Did they die? Since the movie does not continue to tell the story of what happened to the baby snow leopards, the first question that I had for Roy Conli was, “what happened to the baby snow leopards?”

Conli told me that after they ended filming that the snow leopards disappeared. Chuan, the director, stayed in contact with the rangers who were in the area for about six weeks after the film crew had left. Then Conli shared with me something that everyone who sees the film wants to know, “They found them, and they were alive and healthy,” said Conli. He continued to share with me that they didn’t think they had a chance for survival, and that is amazing to know that they are still alive.

Another thing that everyone wants to know is, why didn’t they step in to save the mom? Conli said, “We are observers, and you have to let nature take its place and run its course.” He continued to share that it was important for Chuan to tell a story that was truthful and to help awaken people to the challenges these animals face and conservation efforts.

Was it a hard decision for them to show the death? Of course. “My feeling was that this is a reality that I think children need to know about, adults need to know about it, and there’s nothing wrong with it,” said Conli.

The film Born in China enlightens the world to the importance of animal life. It is a great way to start talking with children about conservation and fighting to help save animals that are on the brink of extinction. Born in China sparked a lot of conversation about conservation with my children. They have become more passionate about making small changes in their daily life to conserve and protect our Earth.

Born in China is currently available on Blu-ray and digital download with Disney Movies Anywhere.

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  1. Human intervened and helped wildlife all the time. Look at all the wild life rehab places around the world. Deer stuck in a fence, squirrel fell from a tree, geese hurt its wing. They were taken care of and then released to the wild. I don’t understand why human cannot do something for them.

  2. Thank you for this article. I saw the movie on opening week and I have to say, I thought of the babies for a very long time. I am so happy to hear they survived.

  3. I agree with the other writers. I was sad when I believed the mother and her two cubs may have died. I remember watching a National Geographic documentary about a lioness teaching her cubs to hunt. They attacked a herd of of larger animals, trying to take down a calf. One of the cubs got kicked and his pelvis was shattered. To move, he had to drag his hind end. The photographers had to leave things as they were. The mother had to move on with the remaining one cub. The look on her face was remarkable. She took one last look at the crying cub she had to leave, then moved on. It was heartbreaking. Later, that piece was reviewed on 60-Minutes, and indeed, the cub had to be left and nature had to have her way.

  4. To all those observers of wildlife, I wish someday when you people gets in a dire situation, The world observes you like you observed thes animals and let nature take its place and run its course.

    Btw these death in documentarie movies and Netgeo documentaries are really disturbing to me.

  5. Must be nice to just excuse yourself from the equation and let a beautiful cat die in the most cruel way possible. Disgusting and left a bad taste in my mouth. The main reason these cats are endangered is BECAUSE OF HUMANS. It’s our obligation to intervene and help

  6. I believe they should save the mom, so the 2 babies still have someone take care them. I did not believe we have to left them to nature. If that theory is correct, all wild animal rescue center need to shut down, all hospital need to shut down. I believe if we can help, we save life. Helping each other is natural too.

  7. I think the larger issue here is that the yak had a collar on it. It wasn’t a wild animal, it was part of a domesticated heard. This is quite sad as this domesticated heard probably have been eating all the other resources in the area that the lion’s true prey would normally feed on.

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