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Endangered snow leopard sighted in Lahaul

The Tribune
New Delhi
28 Feb 2017

Mandi, February 27
A snow leopard was caught on camera for the first time near Udaipur in tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti, which indicates the existence of snow leopard in that area.

Shiv Kumar, an avid wildlife photographer, who is currently posted as a forest guard in Lahaul, had established a trap camera in the Lahaul valley before the onset of winter. The camera recorded the footage of a snow leopard chasing a pack of ibex near Udaipur, around 3 km towards the Miyar valley. This is the first time that the leopard was captured in camera in this area.

“I had installed two trap cameras in the area before the onset of winter and this year the district received a heavy snowfall and I could reach my trap camera on Friday. Exploring the files, I found a one-and-a-half minute footage, where some ibex were walking past the camera. Suddenly, I saw a snow leopard chasing them. The footage was recorded on January 16 this year,” said Shiv Kumar.

According to Shiv Kumar, he had been trying to catch the snow leopard on his camera since year 2010 and finally he got it. The snow leopard is generally found above the tree line and prefers to stay alone. This year due to heavy snowfall in the area, wild animals came down to lower area in search of prey.

During the winter season, the wildlife department becomes extra active as descending of animals trigger man-animal conflicts. The department enhances its patrolling to check the poaching of animals. However, experts are unable to count the exact number of snow leopards as they change their habitat every day.

BL Negi, Conservator of Forest Department, Kullu, told The Tribune that it was a good sign for the forest department that the movement of snow leopard was caught on camera, which indicated that the number of the endangered leopard was increasing in the area.

Source:- http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/community/endangered-snow-leopard-sighted-in-lahaul/370305.html