Unaware of the camera, the elusive animal walks right by while an adult female and a young snow leopard walk just a few more steps away. Perhaps even more important, another recording shows a leopard marking his territory, thus communicating with other snow leopards about gender and breeding status – and sending out a warning.
This sighting gives much needed hope, in a time when many believe the snow leopard is heading towards extinction, due to destruction of habitat, global warming, and poachers. There are currently only 5-7000 animals in the wild.
Snow leopards live between 3,000 and 5,500 meters above sea level and their secretive ways are mostly unknown. They are perfectly adapted for this environment, with their stocky bodies, thick fur, and their small, rounded ears, which prevent excessive heat loss.