Our neighbours from a yurt down the road reported that one of their young horses was killed by a leopard about two weeks ago. He offered to take us to the site of the attack on horseback to set up some camera traps. Today we took him up on his offer and what ensued was a hard ride up a long valley in sometimes driving snow and other times baking sun. When we got to the end of the valley, we ascended on foot beyond the moraine to a vegetated pass in a protected hollow below a small glacier. Signs of leopard prey were common and fresh with footprints and scat everywhere. While we were setting up the third camera, a small disturbance high above us sent some stones tumbling and a second or so later a percussive cough, characteristic of a leopard was clearly heard. The local guys believe that a mother and cubs are resident in this place from where they make hunting forays into the valley propper. I can’t wait to pick up those cameras with the last slot….
From our snow leopard volunteering expedition in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan