23 October is World Snow Leopard Day – an international day, established in 2014, to raise awareness of the vulnerability of these rare and elusive creatures and their fragile habitat.
Living high in the central Asian mountains, Snow Leopards live a hard life, and need large territories to sustain their small populations. Human activities such as poaching, mining, and farmers protecting their livestock, as well as climate change, are having a devastating affect on their already-small numbers.
Only a few thousand Snow Leopards now remain in the wild, and even amongst locals they are rarely seen, earning themselves the nickname ‘Ghost of the Mountains‘. Their dense, soft fur – beautifully marked for camouflage against the rocks – gives the Snow Leopard the most stunning appearance, and it would be a tragedy to lose them for ever.