Camouflage functions as one of nature’s most intriguing and challenging hunting advantages. As such, the unique tactic allows predator and prey to combat the food chain and strive for survival. Now, one 2019 photo of a camouflaged snow leopard has resurfaced. And again, the image is driving viewers nuts. Now, while some Outsiders might take only moments to locate the snow leopard, others can take hours, and often their endeavors are fruitless. Check out the image below.
In speaking with My Modern Met, the big cat‘s photographer, Saurabh Desai, shared he headed to Spiti Valley. The valley features among the notoriously freezing Himalayan Mountain Range to capture the photo. The Spiti Valley serves as the cold desert landmass that separates India and Tibet. The photographer said of the miraculous encounter, “I was on my search of the world’s most elusive cat which is also known as ‘Grey Ghost’ in the popular local language.”
The mystic description is no doubt accurate. Desai’s image captures the creature’s elusive nature in entirety until spotting its eyes toward the top of the cliff’s face. After spending three years pursuing the elusive snow leopard breed, the iconic 2019 image is truly driving viewers to insanity and frustration.
The popular photo came from an elevation of 17,000 feet, with temperatures dipping below -80F. As such, Desai’s challenge in capturing the beast reflects in viewers’ challenge of locating the animal within the frame.
Over on Reddit, one viewer wrote, “I’ve seen this image 643634 times and I’m always like, ‘where are you you little b*****d?'”
One Twitter user spoke to the snow leopard’s true essence, stating, “Honestly can’t see any leopard…damn nature, you scary.”
Elusive Snow Leopard Unleashes Unnerving Mating Call
The secretive snow leopard in Desai’s photos can be near impossible to find. On the other hand, another snow leopard earlier this year was caught on camera while unleashing its unnerving mating call. Compared to its talents as a camouflaged predator, the animal’s calls indicate the snow leopard is well able to make its appearance known.
Set against a bright, snowy background sheltered by an overhanging boulder, the grey spotted leopard’s bright eyes glow powerfully. The bright surroundings highlight the snow leopard’s intimidatingly tiny pupils. Peering upward, he releases an onslaught of ear-piercing calls. This way, he is sure to get the attention of potential mates while simultaneously scaring off any nearby human.
Eventually, the creature slinks off to peruse a different region of the Himalayans.
However, the big cat faces great challenges when it comes to mating. Currently, there remains a limited number of snow leopards in their natural environment.
According to The White Lion Foundation, years of poaching and illegal trade have left only an estimated 4,000 to 7,500 snow leopards in the wild. The big cat’s natural environment in the Himalayans presents great danger and adversity with its uneven elevations, steep cliffs, and below-freezing temperatures. However, it’s true, as always, the fault of humans that the snow leopard faces grave endangerment.