Snow leopards are rare and very difficult to film. They’ve evolved to live and survive in some of the harshest conditions on the planet. The survival of this top predator indicates that a habitat is healthy and biodiverse. Gyamo – the female snow leopard and her 2 cubs haven’t been seen since the big male snow leopard appeared.
The father son wildlife filmmaker duo Mike and Gautam return to the same mountain to pick up their trail and find the cubs. Exploring this amazing landscape they discover there are many challenges that surround this endangered cat.
The territory of the Snow leopard goes beyond the borders of India across many countries and possibly covers over 2 million square kilometers of the himalayan ranges. But these borders are just for us. The snow leopard knows no boundaries and she moves for miles in search of prey, a mate and a home to protect her cubs. To truly understand the snow leopard and the challenges it faces today it is imperative to understand the local culture and the people who share its home.
The mountains were sacred to the ancient people – repositories of biodiversity. They have shared this terrain with the snow leopard for hundreds of years. These existing cultural connections are being used to create a strong partnership with the communities that live here for snow leopard conservation. A unique conservation model in partnership with the community that lives here has transformed this once over grazed valley to a biodiversity hotspot. While filming this we found out that the snow leopard has been taken off the endangered list. This seems hurried and is worrying.
Scientists estimate that 4500-10,000 snow leopards remain in the wild but their exact numbers are still not known. Even before the cats can be understood, its landscape is changing under the impacts of development and tourism. To truly understand the snow leopard it is imperative to understand the people who share its home and find solutions to protect this elusive cat and its habitat before it disappears forever.