Sunday, February 3, 2019

Pakistan - Your Travel Destination 2019 (Part VI): Dare to Watch Live Snow Leopard Hunting a Markhor

Pakistan has been blessed with every weather, resources, wild life, birds, mountains and plains that interest all categories of tourists, adventurers, mountaineers, trekkers, bird watchers and wild life lovers. Today's post is for those who can dare and climb up the snow clad mountains of Pakistan's northern areas and watch some of the near extinct species of wild life, like the Deosai plains bears, Marco Polo sheep, the mighty twisted horned Markhor and the agile snow leopards.

Before we talk of the adventure that awaits the wild life lovers, let me introduce to you the Markhor and the snow leopards.

Markhor, with its long twisted horns, is the national animal of Pakistan. The excessive hunting of this beautiful animal has reduced its population to few thousands and is at the risk of extinction. Markhor which is a member of the goat family and has its habitats in sparsely wooded mountainous regions at altitudes ranging from 700 m (2300′) from November to May up to 4000 m (13,000′) in the summer. The Markhor forages tussocks of grass about 8 – 12 hours daily, and it is usually active all day except for several hours in the middle of the day, when it rests and chews its cud. Besides Pakistan, Markhor is also found in area that extends from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India (Kashmir).

The snow leopard, another endangered species is found in the mountain wilderness of the Himalayan and Central Asian region at heights of 3,000-4,000 meters above sea level. In Pakistan, the snow leopard is found only in the Hindu Kush and Karakoram  region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir with an estimated population of around 200-420 according to the Snow Leopard Trust.

In remote wilderness of the mountains, wildlife adventurers can find bot these majestic animals dueling at razor sharp mountain edges and slopes. Out there where hardly any human can reach, Markhors are striving to survive the claws of rather sluggish looking snow leopards. But when it comes to chasing the Markhors in search for meat on hoof, the predator assumes immense agility and tactical skills.

Now watch a beautiful video shot in the rugged mountains of Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan in which a snow leopard is seen hunting a Markhor - but would he succeed:
Do you dare to be there watching this live in the wilderness of HinduKush and Karakoram mountain ranges of Pakistan? Try it - it is a lifetime experience !!

Photos: | Markhor (Wildlife Warriors) | Snow Leopard (Pixabay) |
References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
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