Snow leopards spotted in eastern Tibet for the first time

December 18, 2017, 3:02 p.m.
A snow leopard stands on a snow-covered surface
Photo: Warren Metcalf/Shutterstock

Elusive snow leopards have been seen prowling around eastern Tibet.

The animals were spotted via infrared cameras set up along the Nujiang River Valley by the Chinese Shan Shui Conservation Center. The area is one of Asia's few remaining "wild rivers," where there is minimal human development, like dams, according to the Daily Sabah.

"We have captured images of baby leopards with their mother, which indicates a certain quantity of the rare species live in the region," Zhao Xiang, head of the Shan Shui Conservation Center, said to the Xinhua news agency.

The possibility of more snow leopards being present in the area may indicate that conservation efforts are working. Classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are an estimated 2,500 to 10,000 snow leopards left in the wild, with 60 percent of the population residing in China. Their elusive nature and the general remoteness of this habitat makes a precise consensus difficult.

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