A snow leopard is seen breaking some laws of gravity when leaping offing a 400-foot cliff to attack Himalayan sheep in a recently resurfaced viral video.
The video, which was uploaded in March 2018, shows the large cat attacking its prey, which was described as either a Bharal or wild Himalayan Blue Sheep. “The Snow Leopard unwittingly leaps off a 400 foot high cliff,” the description further reads. “Locked in a death embrace with the sheep. The two tumble down a 85 degree slope, falling onto rocks with deadly ferocity. The Snow Leopard ultimately wins and stays on to enjoy its quarry over the next few days.”
The video’s description also reads that this may be the first ever ultra-high definition 4K sequence of the animal’s attack.
According to World Wildlife, snow leopards are vulnerable. There are reportedly between 4,000 and 6,500 large cats on the planet. They are mainly found in the high mountains of the Middle East. The large cats are considered top predators. They are considered an important indicator of the climate change impacts on mountain environments. “If snow leopards thrive, so will countless other species and the largest freshwater reservoirs of the planet.”
Wildlife Experts Celebrate As First-Ever Recording of the Large Cats in the Baltal-Zojila Region Surfaces
Meanwhile, The Hindu reports that wildlife experts are hopeful after the first-ever recording of the snow leopard from the Baltal-Zojila region has surfaced. This gives renewed hope for the predator in the higher altitudes of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh.
The camera trapping exercises by Natural Conservation Foundation in India showed not only the cats but other rare species. This includes Asiatic ibex, brown bear, and Kashmir musk deer. “It is the first record of snow leopard from the Baltal-Zojila area. In fact, we have very limited records of the presence of snow leopards across J&K,” Mini Khanyari, a program manager with the organization told the media outlet.
Khanyari also explained that The Snow Leopard Population Assessment of India (SPAI) has been done in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. “The estimated population of the great cat is 50 and 100 in these two States respectively,” he shared.
More Surveys Are Being Done On the Snow Leopard Population
The Department of Wildlife Protection is conducting other surveys to understand the presence and abundance of the predator on the SPAI project. The Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change is funding the research.
Khanyari said the surveys have often focused on neighboring areas of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. “This finding brings renewed hope to Kashmir and its high-altitude regions, as the presence of the snow leopard can be used as a conservation flagship to address high-mountain development issues for people and the environment.”