Snow leopards are one of the world's most endangered animals, and are the most illusive of all the big cats. They are also the cutest cubs on the planet.

While the cuteness crown is always up for debate, snow leopards are at the top of the running, in part due to their rareness. It is always a treat to see a snow leopard.

Even when they are trying to be ferocious, the cubs are adorable.

Although it's not certain, the youngest snow leopard was probably born on May 12, 2011, at the Cape May Country Park Zoo in New Jersey.

It is believed that there are only 4,500 to 7,500 snow leopards alive today. The population of the big cat has declined 20 percent over the last 16 years, thanks mostly to human intervention of all sorts.

Last week, Researchers in Afghanistan discovered snow leopards in 16 different locations in the northeastern part of the country. Snow leopards are one of the rarest animal species on the planet, so the discovery of a surprisingly healthy population in the mountainous Wakhan Corridor has delighted researchers.

This is a wonderful discovery -- it shows that there is real hope for snow leopards in Afghanistan, World Conservation Society deputy director Peter Zahler said in a statement. Now our goal is to ensure that these magnificent animals have a secure future as a key part of Afghanistan's natural heritage.