Snow leopard is a rare species of wild cat the world. Much sought out for its beauty and charismatic stature in the wildlife-loving circles, the snow leopards are a threatened specimen and are among the top priorities of wildlife organizations.
As the name suggests, a snow leopard is mostly found in the cold, harsh climate of Chitral and other areas, a climate which is otherwise uncongenial for living. Their bodies have adapted according to the needs of their surroundings, however. With thick fur and wide bone-structure, these leopards are well-equipped to deal with the cruelest of winters. Their tails and paws play a crucial role in allowing them to navigate difficult mountainous terrain. All these adaptations make their survival in the wild easier. Unfortunately, there is still one threat to their existence which nature has not provided a protection against – the human beings.
Snow leopards in Pakistan are a hot favorite among poachers. Many local and foreign hunters descend upon the Northern Areas of Pakistan where the leopards are found. While the animal itself is an elusive and shy one, many local guides and experienced poachers know their patterns well and facilitate the hunting games by offering their expert consultancy services in return for a huge remuneration from the wealthy hunters. The snow leopards are prized not just for their fur, which is one of the rarest items in the world, but also because of the prestige attached to it. Hunting fraternities have always attached great glory to the act of killing tigers and leopards. The hunting of snow leopard is no different – every poacher dreams hunting such a prized possession and to register their name among the few ones who have achieved this glory.
Ranging between 90 and 150 cm; a snow leopard weighs between 30 and 60 Kilograms. It usually roams in the wild thanks to the stable bone structure and curving legs. Snow leopards are blessed with amazing natural beauty and therefore they attract huge numbers of tourists from all around the world. The leopards are considered to be a major wildlife attraction for the tourists, who are often willing to trek for long hours along excruciatingly difficult trails just to watch this beautiful animal in motion. The way a leopard runs is poetry in itself. Leopards have a unique running style which makes it a pleasure to watch them run after their prey. It is natural that they have great hunting ability, largely due to the clan to which they belong to.
While the World Wildlife Fund has been engaging in numerous campaigns to protect this endangered specimen, its efforts are only slightly slowing down the hunting and not bringing it to a halt. Naturally, it will be very difficult to prevent poaching as there is a huge cost involved. The hunters have their contacts very high up in the government and through help from corrupt government workers, a foreign hunter can do whatever they please to do with the local wildlife. It is high time that the government took responsibility for the snow leopards and provide protected sanctuaries to them before it is too late.
Snow leopards are mostly found in the beautiful northern areas of Pakistan, book a tour online with Tripkar for a fun filled expedition to the northern side!