Witness the First Ever Successful Snow Leopard Kill Caught on Camera
This incredible set of photographs is, to my knowledge, the first snow leopard kill to be documented on camera.
These images were taken by Adam Riley deep in the Himalayas in the Hemis National Park while hosting a snow leopard tour through the area.
Known as the “gray ghost of the Himalayas,” the snow leopard remains extremely rare to see. In the Hemis, only an estimated 50-60 individuals still live in the wild, making the park an important genetic reserve for this species.
The photos below are a remarkable record, expertly captured in the midst of what must have been an exciting moment for Adam. Here’s what happened:
Many people have tried and failed to even glimpse a snow leopard in the wild. Historically it was almost impossible, requiring months of endurance and and camping in harsh conditions. Peter Matthiessen, in his famous book Snow Leopard describes how he spent two months searching for the cat but ultimately failed to find a single animal.
Today it is easier to access the isolated habitat of the snow leopard, but still remains a challenge to find them due to shrinking numbers in the wild. These pics are an exciting record of a rare creature, but also a careful reminder of how important it is to conserve the last of the species still existing out there in the frozen Himalayas.
Follow Paul Steyn on Twitter or Instagram @steynless
Paul Steyn is a widely-published multi-media content producer from South Africa, and regular contributor to National Geographic News and blogs. Having guided throughout Africa for some years, he went on to edit a prominent travel and wildlife magazine, and now focuses on nature storytelling in all its forms. In 2013, he joined a team of researchers and Bayei on a 250km transect of the Okavango Delta on traditional mokoros. In 2016, he accompanied the Great Elephant Census team in Tanzania and broke the groundbreaking results on National Geographic News . Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Paul on Twitter or Instagram
Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.
Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.
“There are only a handful of cheetahs left in Ethiopia, and probably no more than 300 in the Horn of Africa,” said Sarah Durant, a senior fellow at @OfficialZSL. https://t.co/h5w1qh88ra #IntlCheetahDay
TODAY ONLY: Don't miss this opportunity to have your gift amount matched 2x! Until midnight tonight, all gifts will go twice as far to support our work to protect lions, elephants and other threatened species around the planet. #GivingTuesday https://t.co/rIi39FqirJ