Snow leopards are amongst the most elusive and shy creatures on the planet. The big cats live at high altitude and are rarely seen by man, let alone captured on camera. But the BBC is reporting that a snow leopard cub has been caught on video for the first time when it triggered a camera trap in the mountains of Bhutan recently.
The video was captured by a camera trap that was set by a BBC film crew who were hoping to get some footage of the rare animals in their natural habitat. The device has a built-in motion sensor that is designed to turn the camera on when something moves within range of the lens. This allows a crew to set up cameras and leave them in the field for extended periods without the need for a cameraman or requiring the batteries to be charged on a daily basis. The team then returns every few days to review the findings and check the status of the device.
This particular trap was activated when the young snow leopard wandered into range. After surveying the area nervously, the cub begins to wander up hill directly at the lens. Looking straight into the camera, the cat sniffs it curiously before slowly moving on. The entire encounter was a brief one, but for the veteran BBC crew, it was the shot of a lifetime.
The footage of the young leopard will air this week on the BBC’s nature special Lost Land of the Tiger a show that also captured video of tigers living at higher altitudes than had ever been recorded before. It seems this particular film crew had lightning strike twice while producing this show.
[Photo credit: Aaron Logan via WikiMedia]