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Pink Panther of Siberia, a rare snow leopard is caught by a photo trap high in the Altai mountains

By Olga Gertcyk
07 February 2020

A rare feline nicknamed Zvezda (Star) is seen in a stunning twilight hour shot at the Saylyugem National Park.

Star is pictured glowing pink in the early hour of the day at the Saylyugem National Park

The four years old snow leopard is one of 17 cats currently registered in the national park on Russia’s border with Mongolia.

It was last seen in 2018, and before that as a cub with the mother in 2017. The gender of the snow leopard is still unknown. 

The new photo trap picture confirms that the grown up animal is doing well after separating from its mother.

These animals living high up in the mountains are extremely cautious, and every new picture caught by a system of camera traps adds precious information about well-being of the snow leopards population. 

'Back in summer 2018 Zvezda was photographed by ornithologist Elena Schneider', said Denis Malikov, science deputy director of the Saylyugem national park.

'Meeting a snow leopard was like meeting a dragon’, Shneider said about her feelings of suddenly catching the sight of the rare predator. 

'The cat was lying down as if it wanted to be photographed', the ornithologist added. 

Pink Panther of Siberia, a rare snow leopard is caught by a photo trap high in the Altai mountains


Pink Panther of Siberia, a rare snow leopard is caught by a photo trap high in the Altai mountains
'Meeting a snow leopard was like meeting a dragon’, Elena Shneider said about her feelings of suddenly catching the sight of the rare predator 


Russia has from 70 to 90 snow leopards living in the wild, with about 30 of them populating different areas of the Altai mountains.

The team of the Saylyugem National Park together with WWF Russia has long been working to involve local hunters into snow leopards conservation project.

In recent years life of at least nine snow leopards was monitored with the help of former poachers.

Comments (5)

Thanks for the beautiful pictures. Himalayan mountains are home to snow leopards.
bit.ly/Winter_Spiti
Raacho Trekkers, India
13/02/2020 08:24
2
0
Thank you for this wonderful message. I was happy to share that deep feeling meeting a snowleopard in the mountains of Kashmir (Ulley) last April. Thank you to all people in the Valleys and Wildlife responsibles to protect that Wonderful cat.
Piper, Klosters Switzerland
11/02/2020 16:33
1
0
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with stunning images. A Star was Born! and as with the brilliant stars shining like diamonds in our galaxy, Zvezda must be treasured and protected at that safe distance just like our milky way...

Thank you also to the team of the Saylyugem National Park and WWF Russia for their incredble and brilliant work in changing mentalities. A hunter or poacher turned into wildlife conservationist is an achieved miracle!!!

Not quite sure that I'd refer to meeting Star like meeting a dragon; It would be like meeting a divine Goddess...
Anonymous, Switzerland
09/02/2020 22:22
3
0
Lovely to see, compliments to photographers.
choke6feb80@gmail.com, Cape Town
09/02/2020 10:36
2
0
A treasure of Altai ! please take care of them .. !!
Feline, France
07/02/2020 16:32
6
0
1

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