Snow Leopard Country
What struck me, as i started to walk in Hemis, was the vastness and the bleakness of the Habitat! The animals which survive here have to be so tough and hardy..with hardly any vegetation or foddor to feed on..especially in winter! And then you have the Schan (pronounced ‘Shaan’), the Ladhaki name for Snow Leopard, which survives in such high, steep and challenging habitat! How does this beautiful and most elusive Cat in the world manage to survive here?!
Some more pictures of the bleak but stunning habitat!
Signs of a recent kill!
Namgyal, my Guide and friend for the expedetion, showed me this remains of a male Bharal, which was killed by a Schan about three weeks back (another guide saw the Schan on this kill!). The horns were heavy and must have weighed close to 10 kilos! I wondered, how the Bharal manages to carry such heavy horns on it’s head in such steep terrain..especially when a Schan is pursuing it and it’s fleeing for it’s life?!
Signs of scent-marks on a rock!
I was so excited at every sign Namgyal showed me! This signs of spray must have been quite old..but the marks were still so clear on the rock!
Namgyal pointing out an old Scrap mark of a Schan!
Snow Leopard Tracks!!
I was so thrilled to see the Pug marks of the Snow Leopard in snow!! This was my dream for many years!! They were about a week to ten days old..according to Namgyal..in fact, this itself is a big bonus to see in Hemis!
Touching the Tracks!!