Friday, July 15, 2011
The snow leopard is, to me, the most beautiful of all the mammals. It is also the most endangered of the big cats. Only a few thousand remain in the wild, although a good count is impossible because of the animal's stealthy nature and preference for difficult mountain terrain. The snow leopard hunting sequence in the documentary Planet Earth took two years to capture. Now we have some good news: a viable population has been confirmed in northeastern Afghanistan, where the animal's existence was uncertain. The Wildlife Conservation Society is funding a force of rangers to protect snow leopards from those who kill the animal for its fur or try to capture it for the illegal live animal trade.