Snow leopard, ghost of the mountains, is disappearing fast (photography tourism)

By Dharmendra Khandal Nov 02 2011

Snow leopard is the most mysterious of all big cats. This cat is found in the mountain ranges of south Asia and central Asia, mostly in the hill ranges of 3,000-5,500 metres high. It is said in India, the habitat of snow leopards is about 1,80,000 sq km; in comparison tiger is found in less than a lakh sq km area. Tiger conservationists often cite the number of rivers that originate in the tiger habitats as one of the reasons for saving tigers. But if seen volume-wise, the rivers starting from Himalayan region of our country , where the snow leopards live , have more water flowing.

In India, the snow leopard is found in five places: Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. India’s most talented and famed wildlife photographer, Dhritiman Mukherjee, has captured the most spectacular images of this extremely elusive animal when some local informed him that the animal had killed a yak. Before this, most of the images from India were of captive animals or animals captured in camera trap. India’s scientists have studied this animal but most of the work has been restricted to academic level contribution. Seeing this kind of animal may be a dream for most wildlife enthusiasts. But this experience is not like visiting the regular tiger parks, where one enjoys hot meals and clean rooms. To see a snow leopard, one has to endure a freezing cold environment with very little basic amenities at disposal. And it is not guaranteed that you get to see a snow leopard.

Ranthambhore based wildlife photographer Aditya Singh says that it may be tough to spot snow leopards but if efforts are made, we can increase the sighting chances. The cat regularly preys on the livestock of the residents living in its territory. If these people are contacted they can inform one about its presence. But one has to rush before the cat could get away with its prey. In return, the visitor needs to pay the local for yak that the animal had hunted.

Conservationists who don’t take to tourism and photography may dislike this method but for now, this is the key to conservation: The local who lost his livestock will now call a photographer, who compensates the loss — instead of a hunter to shoot the animal. The biggest snow leopard area is in Tibet, with about 70 per cent habitat. Sadly, Tibet is the biggest hub of illegal fur trade, which is the biggest threat to the cat. Not enough animals to prey on due to seasonal migration makes the snow leopard kill people’s livestock, leaving behind a clue of its presence and subsequent poaching. The IUCN in its red data book has listed the snow leopard as endangered.

It is important to increase the community’s involvement in its conservation. Efforts have to be multi channelled. For both Dhritiman and Aditya Singh, it was possible to take the magnificent images of the animals only with the help of the local communities, proving that the right approach with the local communities could lead to efficient solution to snow leopard poaching.

Survival of snow leopards – Mongolia

Survival of snow leopards endangered: expert 2011-10-17 23:50:51

ULAN BATOR, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) — Poaching, mining and invasion of herders are threatening the survival of the snow leopard, one of the world’s most endangered animals, an official of the World Wildlife Fund in Mongolia warned Monday.

“Big threats for the snow leopard are poaching and conflicts with local people because of attacks on livestock of herders by snow leopards in the last few years as herders moved to mountain areas in the winter season and occupied the habitat of snow leopards,” said Onon Yo.

Illegal trade of skins and skulls of snow leopards and a new trend of mining operations in the snow leopard’s habitat also pose big threats to the big cats.

Onon issued the warning on the sidelines of an international conference on snow leopard conservation here.

Snow leopards are restricted to the high mountains of Central Asia with a population of fewer than 2,500.

Many measures have been taken to protect this extremely endangered animal. About 27.5 percent of snow leopards’ potential habitats are put in protection areas and many monitoring programs had been launched in certain habitats, said Onon.

The researchers use many different methodologies, for example, GPS collars for determining the movement and migration of snow leopards, Onon said.

Snow leopard kills 68 goats in a single night in Gilgit

By Shabbir Mir
Published: May 27, 2011

A lone snow leopard wrecked havoc in a remote valley of Gilgit one night, killing 68 goats in six separate incidents, officials said on Thursday. The attacks also left six goats critically injured.

The animal broke into the corrals at Dhee Village, Gojal near the Pak-China border before killing the goats, Rehman Posh, a conservationist working with the Khunjerab Village Organisation, told The Express Tribune on Thursday.

“Bodies of the animals were scattered all over the place after the incident,” said Posh, adding that the people got enraged over the depredation that inflicted a huge financial loss on them.

Giving the breakdown, Rehman Posh said that 23 of the goats belonged to Mirza Mohammad, 13 to Ali Baig, 12 to Bahadur, nine to Aslam, seven to Ghulam Rasool and four to Qalandar Shah.

Talking about the different organisations that are trying to protect the endangered species, a group of villagers said they were not satisfied with their “mere lip services”.

“We have submitted our complaints. But they just come to tell us the importance of the snow leopards. They never recompense the poor herders who bear the losses,” a farmer said.

DFO Wildlife, Ghulam Mohammad, while regretting the losses, said the communities will make them up by the fees obtained from trophy hunting of Ibex and Markhor. “Apart from the trophy hunting fee, 75 percent of the entry fee of Khunjerab National Park also goes to the communities, and we hope that the loss is somewhat covered up with this income,” he said.

Attacks of snow leopard on the goats are frequent in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) as conservations blame loss of habitat, climate change, and scarcity of food are some of the factors behind the belligerent attitude of the cat. Sources say about 100 animals have been killed by snow leopards in G-B in the past one year.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2011.

Livestock insurance program increases snow leopard population in Nepal

The population of snow leopard inside Kanchenjunga Conservation Area has been secured with the introduction of livestock insurance scheme. Livestock owners had contributed NPR 55 for each number of animals they owned and a villager is entitled to receive NPR 2,500 if a snow leopard killed a cattle. Earlier, villagers used to set up snares to capture and kill snow leopards as retribution.

9 November 2011‐kathmandu‐post/2010/11/09/nation/snow‐leopard‐population‐up/214631/

50 cattle killed by snow leopard in Khunzhrav, Pakistan

50 cattle killed by snow leopard in Khunzhrav
Posted on November 21, 2010 by Pamir Times|

Khunzhrav (misspelled as Khunjrab), November 2010: The big cat (Snow Leopard) has killed over four dozen sheeps and goats belonging to Mirza Muhammad of Moorkhun village, in Gojal Valley.

According to reports the beast attacked at night and killed the sheeps and goat, without facing any resistance from anyone.

Locals were of the view that as part of the Snow Leopard Conservation Project, killing of the beast has been legally prohibited, because of endangered status among the world’s rarest animals.

While appreciating the need to not kill the Snow Leopard, the locals are worried about safety of their cattle, which are major means of livelihood for many families.

Whether the cattle were attacked by one or more Snow Leopards is unclear

In the past similar incidents of cattle being killed by the Snow Leopard have taken place but the farmers have not been compensated by the government or other relevant organizations.

There is a fear that the locals might resort to killing of the endangered animal to save their cattle. In order to stop this from happening, it is important that the national and international organizations devise proper compensation plans for the affected farmers.

Saving snow leopards in Tuva, Russia (includes information re: database of sightings)

Don’t shoot the irbis!
21 August 2010

Alexander Kuksin, Center of Asia, translated by Heda Jindrak

Tuva holds an immense amount of treasures and mysteries. One of these treasures is irbis, the beautiful and mysterious snow leopard, to see whom is a rare fortune. However the officials of the republic are not at all concerned about the preservation of this red-book animal, and some would not even object to receiving the wonderful hide of the dead beauty as a present. And only thanks to the WWF is it possible to conduct work in Tuva for the purpose of protection of the snow leopard – there are about 100 of them here, which is about one half of their total number in Russia.

There are so few of them on our planet

In contrast to the usual idea about the white fur of this predator, generally the background coloring ranges from milky or cream to ochre.

Black spots are scattered all over this background, most of which have an elongated, semicircular form.

These spots are used by scientists to identify individual leopards in work with photo-traps, and this, in turn, allows them to determine which of the leopards permanently reside on the territory, and which are only using it in transit to other areas.

Irbis is a representative of the cat family, placed between the medium and large cats in terms of size. The body length is up to 130 cm, tail 110 cm; a large male may weigh between 45 – 50 kg.

The irbis lives only in the Asian part of the Eurasian continent mass, on the territory of 12 states, and the total numbers are no higher than sex or seven thousand.

The largest numbers of irbises live on Chinese territory. In Russia, on approximate evaluation, there are no more than 200 individuals.

And one half of them – about 100 individuals – is concentrated precisely in Tuva, in the high mountain regions that surround the republic: the ridges of the Sayans, Sengilen, Tannu-ola, Tsagan-Shibetu, Shapshal, Chikhacheva.

In the world of science there is a widespread idea about this cat as an inhabitant of very high mountain regions – from 3000 to 5500 meters above the sea level, but in Tuva they can be seen even at 600-800 meters above sea level.

The irbis can even show up in places totally exotic for them – at the border of forest and forested steppe regions. Once he was even seen on the territory of “Taiga” Nature park, which is only 50 km from Kyzyl.

The territory of the republic is important also for social life of irbises from different groups of the northern part of the area; individuals from Mongolia transit through Tuva when on the way to Krasnoyarsk Krai, Buryatia, or Altai. This is important for mating – it prevents inbreeding, which causes genetic defects. Tuva holds several areas which are crucial for continued propagation of these animals.

Who is watching whom

It is impossible for researchers to determine the exact numbers of snow leopards because of the secretive lifestyle of these predators.

It often happens that the researchers, who call themselves “irbisyatniki”, do not ever see the object of their research. But the object of their studies regularly observes the scientists, following their tracks, sniffing out just who these people are and what do they want from the irbis.

To meet an irbis, the scientist has to gather a lot of experience, studying the habits of the animals, and to become more subtle and alert than the animal. Regardless of its secretiveness, mysteriousness and unreachability, today the irbis is vulnerable, and its fate is totally dependent on human goodwill.

Cases of intentional destruction of the leopard are known – for profit by sale of the animal’s skin or to give it as a present to an official in exchange for favors.

People bring harm to irbis by shooting mountain goats, roe-deer, musk-deer, and marmots in the places where irtbis lives. Pastureland which spreads to the high mountain regions also displaces wild hoofed mammals, which again curtails the food base of the irbis.

In consequence, irbis attacks domestic livestock that is grazing in the areas of his range. And it is not the fault of the animal that it could not find any other wild prey because of poaching activities, until, faced with starvation, it finally risks an attack on a herdsman’s cattle.

Irbish-ool – a compliment for a man

People have known the irbis on Tuvan territory since ancient times. They revered him and worshipped him. To these times, to call a man Irbish-ool means a great compliment to his skill, intelligence and strength – the qualities of his mysterious namesake.

The small proportion of the population of the republic which lives in the mountain region and is more dependent on the vagaries of nature than on the will of the officials, who generally remember them only at election time, still speak of the irbis as of the Master.

This is especially strongly expressed by the herders of the Sengilen mountains in the Southeast part of the republic. The herders of that region believe that it is not allowed to harm the irbis, it is not permissible to be angry with him and to curse at him, because this will have negative consequences for the person and for his household. There will be punishment from above. They will tell you many true-life stories about local men who, having killed a snow leopard, ended their lives by a knife in a drunken brawl.

A light for the officials

People for whom nature is their real home never harm the irbis in contrast to “strong hunters”, whose poaching activities are currently without obstacle. Neither Tere-Khol, nor Mongun-Taiga kozhuuns have currently any inspectors from the State commission on hunting and fishing of Republic Tuva, charged with obligations to protect the world of animals.

The attitude of the leadership of the commission is totally incomprehensible; they ignore multiple reports of misconduct. Not just the irbis suffers, but all the other predators as well, and the above districts are one of the key areas in terms of population densities of a large number of animal species!

Regardless of the fact that irbis is listed in all kinds of Red Books of various levels, the attitude of the officials is, to put it gently, neutral.

Even such an omnipotent and mighty office like Administration of the Federal service of Russian nature supervision in Tuva, regardless of the facts of yearly losses of irbises during the past three years, can turn a blind eye to it and does not make any efforts to protect this red-book animal of federal significance.

To keep the leopard fed and the herdsman whole: the end of a promising project

Currently only the nature reserve “Ubsunur depression” pays any attention to the problem of snow leopard.

And not because the “rulers” are concerned, but only because of non-profit organizations like WWF, UN development projects, and the Global ecological Foundation. It is because of their support that the monitoring of snow leopard groups is going on in Western Tuva.

Since 2000, various activities associated with protection of the snow leopard have been going on in Tuva. The most important one of these projects was a program of voluntary insurance of domestic livestock from irbis depredations, which was carried out jointly by WWF and RESO-Garantiya” insurance company.

The project intended for the leopard to be fed without losses to the herdsmen. For that purpose, a contract was made with each herder who wished to insure his herd. The insurance was free for the herders: the compensation for the insured animals was put up by the Russian office of WWF. The crucial condition of the contract was the prevention of persecution of predators by herdsmen.

Every insured herder was issued a camera and film to document the consequences of irbis attack on his livestock. On presentation of the photo-documentation, an inspection with investigation of the scene of the attack would be performed by zoological experts.

Compensation was offered for every animal that died by the claw of the irbis: $100 for a cow or a horse, $30 for a sheep or a goat. These numbers, of course, do not represent the full value of the dead animal, however, for the herdsman who lost his herd, it is a substantial compensation.

In the year 2003, the herders became really interested in the project, developed faith in its effectiveness, and that the insurance can really help them to forget their rage towards the predator.

The project gave the people a chance to understand that the irbis attacks their herds not out of good life or love of delicacies, but because people have forgotten the ancient rules which allowed our ancestors to live in harmony with nature.

People who share the mountains with the irbis understand that this rare animal is important not just for their mountain world: it turns out that people all over the world are concerned about the problem of its protection and are prepared to pay money to suffering herdsmen to show consideration and mercy for the animal.

But, unfortunately, this year the project ended. It anticipated renewal with the condition of co-financing by the government of Tuva. Many requests by the WWF to the government of the republic allowed them to come to an agreement about co-operation, and to make a decision to establish a government foundation, but the because of the usual personnel changes and transfers the dream will remain a dream.

Fortify the koshara

In 2007-2009, a project was realized on the territories of Mongun-Taiga and Tere-Khol kozhuuns, involving the fortification of the kosharas to prevent entry by irbis.

During the research it became clear that an irbis attack on a pasture usually involves no more than three heads of small horned cattle, while if the attack occurs in the koshara, up to 70 heads may be killed. In such a situation the irbis usually only injures the majority of these animals, who then die later of their injuries or of wound infections.

In one entry of irbis into a koshara, the herdsman may lose up to 210 thousand rubles. At the same time, to fortify the koshara effectively costs no more than 1.5 thousand rubles.

To disseminate the experience, a brochure was worked out and published, “Fortification of koshara against irbis entry”, which was distributed for free among the interested herders in the areas of irbis habitat.

Living animal which brings income to people: our Mongun-taiga project

In 2010, with financial support by PROON/GEF project of “Ubsunur depression” nature reserve, a project was designed and is being realized which involves the organization of educational eco-tourism on the territory of Mongun-Taiga kozhuun. Local population is recruited to guide tours in the areas of habitat of rare animal species – irbis and argali – the Altai mountain sheep.

The project is basically simple but important: local herders welcome tourists – guests, who are interested in the irbis. The herders tell them real-life stories about irbis, show them signs of its presence on their land. And that way they get an income from tourism.

Irbis will attack the livestock just like before, but now the herder will get an advantage from that. If he preserves irbis and argali on his land, tourists who value wild nature will flock there, wishing to sample the local cuisine, to stay in a traditional Tuvan dwelling, and to obtain souvenirs hand-made by the herdsmen.

In parallel, scientists will observe the situation of the condition of the groups of irbis and argali, and recommend further areas for conducting tours.

In that way, that herder will have the greatest advantage, who continues to believe in the irbis: if he protects the irbis, he will be well fed and happy, if he harms the irbis, he will “swallow the saliva of envy”, watching the tourists flocking to his neighbor.

If you don’t believe that this is possible, review the experience in Nepal and Mongolia, where for several years the herders have been living without problems, with an income from eco-tourism, and the minimal losses of livestock by irbis attacks are considered good investment. As they say – “That is all right, he does not eat that much, and it brings in so much income when he lives at my place!”

In September of this year, a trial tour is planned, which will serve to start the next stage of the recruitment of local population and preservation of the biodiversity of Tuva.

And has he eaten a lot?

Has the irbis eaten a lot of cattle? In May of 2010, questioning of herders of Bai-Taiga kozhuun took place.

These are the results: in 9 years – from 2001 to 2010 on the territory of the district 127 heads of domestic cattle fell prey to irbises, out of which small horned cattle constituted 116, and large horned cattle 11 heads.

At the same time, according to data, just during 2009 and five months of 2010, in the same district 703 heads of livestock perished by wolf attacks, out of which 582 were small, 105 large, and 16 horses.

The work in protection of irbis and other rare animals, despite the difficulties, continues. I invite activists and nature protection organizations to become involved and to help us.

Stories about meeting the irbis

You can bring in your contribution to the data base of meetings, sightings and events connected with snow leopard, by sending a letter with the report about your meeting with him.

Include your name, surname, patronymic, name of the locality, date of the event, time of day, behavior of the animal (what he was doing when you saw him).

Send your letters to: 667010, Kyzyk, ul.Kalinina, 144a, “Ubsunur depression” nature preserve, Alexander Kuksin.

Or use e-mail:

Your reports are very important, remember that to see an irbis means great good fortune.

Snow leopard attacks bulls in Goharabad, Gulmit, Pakistan (9 April 2008)

The Big Cat attacks Bulls in Goharabad, Gulmit
Posted on April 9, 2008 by Pamir Times

By G.Nasir

Three Bulls were attacked by a snow leoperd at Goharabad, Gulmit. One of the bulls was badly wounded and had to be slaughtered while the the other two survived despite of bad injuries. This is the second incident of its kind during a span of four months. Earlier, in January this year, a snow leoperd had played havoc with cattle entering a cattle house in Odver ward of Gulmit village. The bulls injured and killed during this attack belonged to Safar Baig, Ayub Khan and Saeed Ahmad, all residents of Gulmit village.

Endangered Species: Leopard on the spot in Phakar, Pakistan

by S.Mujahid Ali Shah
Sunday, 22 Mar, 2009 | 02:34 AM PST |

This is a story about my village called Phakar, in the Nagar Valley 80 km northeast to Gilgit in the Karakoram Mountains. The average altitude is 2600M with mountain cliffs and caves, some of them being totally inaccessible for humans. I live in the northern deep corner of the village called Gutum which means Deep Valley in Brushasky.

It so happened that a snow leopard family chose a cliff called Chokobat about 200 meters north to my house to live and raise cubs. One day a woman grazing her flock, saw a goat belonging to our neighbors fall down Mount Chokobat to Korang , a deep, narrow and steep gully beneath the lower village of Ghamadass, with Hunza river beneath. It was a snow leopard that had killed the goat; as it throws the prey away after sucking the blood from its throat.

The next day she went with her son to the caves some 200 metres north of my house behind the cliff of Chokobat to look for the den. They could n’t proceed beyond a certain point as the terrain was deviously dangerous.

Following the first strike, the snow leopard killed six more of the village cattle. A cub was killed by one of our hunters and the following night the parents of the cub terrified the village with their roaring and nobody dared to step out.

A week later, behind the mount Uyum Tong which lies east to my house, a woman saw two leopards as she was about to enter the cattle house to milk her goats. She quickly shut the door and bolted it with an iron chain, rushing back to the house crying ‘tha tha tha’, which means snow leopard.

Finally when the snow leopard entered a cattle house in Nagra and Hunza from an opening in the roof called sagam, (meant for light); the Hadulkutz clan decided to catch it alive. They called Meherban Ali from the Nazarbekutz clan. He was a tall man known for catching wild beasts. He cut a long branch of a poplar tree and went up the cattle house roof, pressing the branch to the leopard’s throat, while four young men entered the cattle house and chained both the leopards. The whole village rewarded him with a kilo of flour per family.

After much debate of what to do with the animals, it was eventually decided that instead of killing them and decorating the house with leopard skins, they would be kept alive.

Syed Yaha Shah, the pioneer Nature Conservation activist from Northern Areas was contacted who promptly arrived from Minapin to Phakar in an NGO pick up. He spoke to the people about the rare species they had captured and that Meherban Ali would be rewarded by the government and the NGO for breaking a thousand year tradition of not killing the beast.

Both animals were driven to Gilgit by the oldest driver of Phakar in his jeep, along with Meherban Ali, three village elders and Syed Yahya himself.

Two years later, I returned to my village on completion of my Masters at Karachi University. I met Meherban Ali who told me that the government had not yet given him any reward or appreciation. Syed Yahya Shah had written a book Tauze ul Wsail where he mentioned the story. I told him that the book had been dedicated to Meherban Ali and his friends.

He smiled but was not as happy as he would have been if he had received recognition from the government.

In Western Tuva, the conflict between the snow leopard and local residents remains active

May 12, 2010 from Tuva Online

According to the research data of WWF, the conflict between the snow leopard and the residents of Western Tuva remains active. The leopards are in danger of getting shot by the herdsmen in revenge for attacks on domestic livestock. WWF continues to actively work with the herdsmen. The conflict between irbis and people originated when the local shepherds took their herds to graze in areas where this predator lives, and the normal population density of hoofed animals dropped off because of poaching.

Lacking their natural prey, the snow leopards started to attack domestic livestock. The leopards attack goats and sheep; only rarely do they attack large animals like yaks and horses, in which case they concentrate on young animals. However, a case was documented where a female leopard and two grown cubs killed a large 8-year-old yak.

According to the collected evidence from 2000-2007 yrs, in Western Tuva (Mongun-Taiga and Bai-Taiga districts of Republic Tyva), every year about 80-100 heads of small horned cattle and 10-30 horses and yaks fall prey to snow leopards. Especially massive losses of sheep and goats – up to 80-90% of the total number of killed animals – occur when a leopard gets into the koshara, a roofed stable where the cattle spends the night.

According to the census carried out by WWF specialists on the Tsagan-Shibetu ridge in the spring of 2010, during the period from November 2009 to February 2010, there were 6 cases of snow leopard attack on livestock. Defending the livestock, which, in these regions, is the only source of subsistence, Tuvans often shoot the leopards in revenge for their savaged cattle. Considering that many shepherds suffer from irbis attacks, there is a potential threat that they may act as accomplices to the poachers who hunt the snow leopard for profit on order.

In the evaluation of experts, the total snow leopard population in Western Tuva is at least 18-20 individuals. The preservation of this grouping of the species who live on the Shapshal and Tsagan-Shibetu ridges, Chikhachevo and Mongun-Taiga, is one of the priority tasks of the snow leopard protection in the Russian Federation.

Altai-Sayan project of WWF invests a great effort to defuse the conflict between herdsmen and the snow leopard. For example, in October 2007, using data from WWF, the staff of the “Ubsunur depression” nature preserve together with the local residents worked on strengthening the stables as a means to prevent incursions of snow leopards at the Tsagan-Shibetu ridge ( as part of the project PROON/GEF).

Ventilation openings in the kosharas, as well as windows and openings above doors were covered over by strong wire netting, which successfully prevented snow leopard incursions into the stables. This simple expedient allowed the losses from snow leopard attacks on livestock in the kosharas to decrease by 80-90%, and also prevented deaths of the predators at the hands of the herdsmen. In that way, during the period from November 2007 to the present time, there was not a single case of an irbis getting into a koshara at the Tsagan-Shibetu ridge.

In 2009, a special Buddhist calendar was published with photos of the irbis and Kamby-Lama’s appeal to the residents of the mountains to protect the snow leopard and the areas of his range. Such a calendar can now be seen in many yurts and houses of herdsmen in Western Tuva.

Currently a co-operative project of WWF and PROON/GEF is being realized, working out a trans-border eco-tourism route “The country of the snow leopard”, whose core task is to involve the herdsmen of Tuva and Altai in tourist activities within the irbis range. The irbis will be used as the main attraction of Western Tuva for tourism, with the aim to show the local population the value of this species for development of tourism. Motives of traditional souvenir production will also involve the snow leopard.

In this way, the protection of snow leopard will become a direct source of income for the population from eco-tourism, and its development could become an effective instrument of protection of rare species in Western Tuva.

For information:

In 2010, with support from WWF, an evaluation of the numbers of a trans-border grouping of snow leopard on the Tsagan-Shibetu range (Russia and Mongolia). The total numbers of this grouping was calculated at 15-20 individuals, and its condition was appreciated as stable. In June 2010 the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution RAN, together with WWF of Russia, are planning to start a project of observing this group of snow leopards with the use of satellite collars and automatic photo cameras. These works should bring many new findings about the snow leopard in Western Tuva, and to suggest new actions to be taken for protection of this species.

Tatiana Ivanitskaya, translated by Heda Jindrak

Snow leopard cub rescued from Kashmir


Monday, February 15, 2010 15:01 ISTBotengu (Kashmir): Wildlife wardens assisted by forest rangers rescued a three-month old snow leopard cub after it had strayed into a human habitation at Botengu village from Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. “The cub was hiding in the kitchen of the house. We didn’t tranquillise it but we relied on certain medicines to cow it down,” said Mohammed Ashraf Khan, a wildlife warden.
The animal was later taken to the office of the Divisional Conservator of Forests where veterinarians examined it.
After the vets declared it as a healthy cub, the rangers relocated at to the near by jungle.
Locals hailed the prompt action taken by the wildlife department.
“Wildlife officials did a fantastic job…the cub strayed into the locality from the nearby area…we are happy after the forest officials captured it,” said Sabzaar Khan, a resident.
India has the third-largest population of these spotted wild cats after China and Mongolia — of which around half are inhabited in Kashmir. (ANI)