New Video of a Rare Snow Leopard

Candice Gaukel Andrews March 21, 2013 19

Snow leopards are powerful and beautiful big cats, native to the mountains of central Asia. Insulated by thick hair and possessing wide, fur-covered feet that act as natural snowshoes, they are well adapted to their environment. Their long tails, which help in maintaining their incredible balance, double as blankets against severe cold.

The harsh conditions of the snow leopard’s natural habitat makes the animal hard to study, so researchers and wildlife experts and photographers plant recording devices near snow leopard ranges in hopes of getting some footage of them. Recently, one photographer got extremely lucky.

In February of this year, Matse Rangja found thirty seconds of video of a snow leopard on one of the cameras he’d hidden in China’s Burhan Budai Mountains. This is only the second time in eight years that he’s been able to capture the cat on film.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, about six thousand snow leopards remain. They are currently in dramatic decline because of killings by herders, who see the cats as threats to their domestic animals; poaching, driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional medicines; vanishing habitats; and declining mammal prey.

Watch Matse Rangja’s rare footage below. Then, read about Natural Habitat Adventures’ new Mongolia snow leopard trip. Not only will you have the extraordinary opportunity to track this elusive cat with World Wildlife Fund scientists but you’ll also meet traditional nomadic herders who are community partners with the Snow Leopard Trust. Learn firsthand about their centuries-old lifestyle and customs and discover how they are pioneering methods for living in harmony with snow leopards, in the world they share.

19 Comments »

  1. rajeeva March 21, 2013 at 10:02 am - Reply

    very nice. a great job.

  2. Bill Harby March 22, 2013 at 5:05 am - Reply

    Thank you, Candice!

  3. Barbara Maas March 22, 2013 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Congratulations on your continued excellent work for snow leopards.

  4. Laura Impastato March 22, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Thanks for posting this video of this beautiful, and very endangered, big cat. I am fortunate in being able to see one up close and personal in Cat Canyon at the San Diego Zoo..but I don’t want to see them disappear from the wild.

  5. Carlos Reyes March 22, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

    pretty cool

  6. Tracey J. Evans March 22, 2013 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Isn’t curiosity a brilliant thing to have in common with such a beautiful creature?

  7. José Pais March 22, 2013 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Great job. Thank you, Candice!

  8. christine sheard March 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    utterly magic moment. The eyes have it!

  9. Larry Broderick March 23, 2013 at 4:27 am - Reply

    incredible, been following this story for a couple decades, incredible animals, amazing footage, thanks for sharing. awesome walked right up to the camera and stick its nose to it.

  10. Valentina Pota March 23, 2013 at 4:28 am - Reply

    thanks for sharing! SO CUTE:))

  11. Larry Ehemann March 24, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Beautiful video of a beautiful animal

  12. Clarice Brough March 24, 2013 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Hey Candice, this is very cool! Thanks for sharing it, I love that Snow Leopard,,, he is so cute:)

  13. Alli March 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Thank-you for sharing this video. Snow leopards are one of my favorite animals and it is not easy to find video footage of them. I loved that he put his face right up to the camera, just gorgeous. Thanks again!

  14. Claudia E. Ramirez March 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    A gorgeous and curious big cat! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Bonnie Jean Flach March 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Very nice short video, looks like he went right up to the camera.

  16. John J. Tschirky March 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Very nice! Majestic animal.

  17. Vanessa Allen March 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    wonderful close up footage, have shared widely.

  18. Eyal Vanunu March 28, 2013 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Amazing animal!

  19. Phillip Tureck - FRGS March 28, 2013 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Excellent news Candice – one more Snow Leopard than we knew about

    Continued work at the conservation society for this magnificent animal

    http://www.catsurvivaltrust.org

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