Big 5s

Doug Allan

Cameraman

“Local people call snow leopards the ‘ghosts of the mountains’. For 10 weeks I’d been in Ladakh, India, waiting for even a glimpse. We’d had some good shots of an individual scent-marking on a rock, taken with the remote triggered camera. But that’s not the same as actually seeing them.

High on the slopes on the opposite side of the valley, 400 metres away as the chough flies from my vantage point, I saw one come out round a spur of rock. She had that lithe, unhurried way of covering the ground that looks effortless until you find yourself as a stumbling human on similar terrain. She walked 100 metres or so, sat down, stretched out, and slept.

Two hours later, after a big yawn, she stood up, looked around, then melted back into the scenery as suddenly as she’d arrived. There are certain animals – polar bears, gibbons, Weddell seals – that come over as supremely adapted to their environment when you have the privilege of seeing them in the wild. That’s the impression my snow leopard left.

Elusive, wonderful and threatened, this keystone species’ survival in the wild is crucial.”

dougallan.com

Photo by Steve Tracy / Snow Leopard Trust

My Big 5

    Snow Leopard
    Polar Bear
    Red Squirrel
    Orangutan
    Hedgehog

Doug Allan

Cameraman

“Local people call snow leopards the ‘ghosts of the mountains’. For 10 weeks I’d been in Ladakh, India, waiting for even a glimpse. We’d had some good shots of an individual scent-marking on a rock, taken with the remote triggered camera. But that’s not the same as actually seeing them.

High on the slopes on the opposite side of the valley, 400 metres away as the chough flies from my vantage point, I saw one come out round a spur of rock. She had that lithe, unhurried way of covering the ground that looks effortless until you find yourself as a stumbling human on similar terrain. She walked 100 metres or so, sat down, stretched out, and slept.

Two hours later, after a big yawn, she stood up, looked around, then melted back into the scenery as suddenly as she’d arrived. There are certain animals – polar bears, gibbons, Weddell seals – that come over as supremely adapted to their environment when you have the privilege of seeing them in the wild. That’s the impression my snow leopard left.

Elusive, wonderful and threatened, this keystone species’ survival in the wild is crucial.”

Photo by Steve Tracy / Snow Leopard Trust

My Big 5

    Snow Leopard
    Polar Bear
    Red Squirrel
    Orangutan
    Hedgehog

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