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Caught on camera: Rare snow leopard

March 1, 2012 |  5:48 pm

Infrared photo of a snow leopard in  India.

A rare snow leopard was caught on camera near the border between India and Pakistan, reassuring conservationists that one of the most endangered big cats in the world still roams the Himalayan region.

Every day on WorldNow, we choose a striking photo from around the world. Today we picked this one,  snapped by an infrared camera trap set by the World Wildlife Fund-India.

It's one of two photos that recently captured of the cats roaming the remote region.

“Earlier, we were not sure whether there are any snow leopards in that region as the area has witnessed long hostilities," WWF-India senior coordinator Ameen Ahmad told the Indian Express.

This is the second time the snow leopards have been caught on camera in the Kargil district of India. The same researcher who led the team whose camera traps took this shot, Aishwarya Maheshwari, got an image of one preying on ibex on a mountain slope about two years ago.

Snow leopards range through Afghanistan, India, Mongolia and the Himalayas. It is estimated that there are 4,000 to 6,500 of the cats in the wild. The World Wildlife Fund says that as more researchers explore their frigid habitats more information about the population is coming to light.

Spot a photo we should spotlight on our blog? Please tweet it to us at @latimesworld with the hashtag #photo.


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Photo: This infrared photo is a rare sighting of a snow leopard in the Kargil district of India. Credit:  World Wildlife Fund