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Old 30th May 2011, 14:38   #16
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

Whoa, a similar incident happened with me to! There we (wife & myself) were, heading towards Jalori Jot (from NH22 side, without even knowing that) way back in 2007. It was raining, there was total desolation and we'd just passed a carcass of some animal lying just off the road. Seeing that had been enough to give us a shudder and then, on the slope along the road we saw a leopard looking in our direction. I wanted to stop and click (by rolling down the window) but got strict orders from wifey to shoo away from the place.
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Old 30th May 2011, 15:02   #17
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

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Come to Bangy my friend

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@ra'ul: Lucky you!! It is not easy to even catch a glimpse of a snow leopard. They are probably the most elusive and endangered of all the big cats.

Also there are no cheetahs in India! Now! The Asiatic Cheetah has been hunted to extinction in India. There are chances of Cheetahs being introduced back into India from Iran.

Also there are no Jaguars in India. They belong to the same genus as the Leopard. However they are found mainly in Central and South America.

good one, Jaguar!!
Are you sure about the extinction part? I have heard people talk about cheetahs a lot, although its hard to believe as most people don't know the difference.

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Whoa, a similar incident happened with me to! There we (wife & myself) were, heading towards Jalori Jot (from NH22 side, without even knowing that) way back in 2007. It was raining, there was total desolation and we'd just passed a carcass of some animal lying just off the road. Seeing that had been enough to give us a shudder and then, on the slope along the road we saw a leopard looking in our direction. I wanted to stop and click (by rolling down the window) but got strict orders from wifey to shoo away from the place.
Good decision IMO. He could have still been hungry !
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Old 31st May 2011, 12:16   #18
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

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Are you sure about the extinction part? I have heard people talk about cheetahs a lot, although its hard to believe as most people don't know the difference.
As per Wikipedia, Asiatic Cheetah is indeed extinct in India. Most of the remaining ones are in Iran, while there have been reports of their sighting in Balochistan (Pakistan).

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Good decision IMO. He could have still been hungry !
Maybe it was pissed off at us for disturbing it while having its meal.
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Old 1st June 2011, 12:34   #19
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

I've an in-built button that reads "over-ride". It gets activated in such situation with a vengeance. You missed a life-time opportunity.

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on the slope along the road we saw a leopard looking in our direction. I wanted to stop and click (by rolling down the window) but got strict orders from wifey to shoo away from the place.
Having said that, there are no cheethas in India. Only panthers & leopards. Raul, are you sure it was a snow leopard? Because the snow leopard is found only at heights of 13k feet & above. On top of it, it is a very elusive animal. A great hunter of the famous mountain goats, it excellant camaflouge is the only elemant that helps in making a kill.

I find it very difficult to believe that it would have strayed 8K feet below in an area where it would stick out like a sour thumb.

Dogs being carried away in the hills or in the plains near forests is a very common phenomena/ The locals call the predator as "baagh". It actually is a Leopard. If you really watch closely, the Bhutia dogs of the hills are fitted with a spiked collar to prevent this.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 14:44   #20
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

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I've an in-built button that reads "over-ride". It gets activated in such situation with a vengeance. You missed a life-time opportunity.
I realize that now sir, especially after developing an interest in wildlife thanks to you & Doc. But quite frankly, at that time I'd 2 options; either click the Leopard and get devoured by the Tigress sitting next to me or follow her orders (we're kinda newly weds then). Down the years, the "override" button has been installed.

EDIT: Even I'm baffled about what a Snow Leopard was doing at such low altitudes. IMO, Leopards don't have albinos, do they?

Also recollected a childhood incident. I was traveling with my Dad, in a chauffeur driven Ambassador, from Tehri town to the top of the hill where the THPDC guest house was. It was dark and the headlights of the car were on. Suddenly, after a switchback, the driver turned off the engine and cut out the lights. Dad asked the reason for his actions and was told that there's a Baagh sitting on the road, just a few meters ahead. Well, we couldn't make out much of it in the dark but the growls were enough to excite me and at the same time, send shivers down the spine .

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Old 4th June 2011, 18:27   #21
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

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I've an in-built button that reads "over-ride". It gets activated in such situation with a vengeance. You missed a life-time opportunity.



Having said that, there are no cheethas in India. Only panthers & leopards. Raul, are you sure it was a snow leopard? Because the snow leopard is found only at heights of 13k feet & above. On top of it, it is a very elusive animal. A great hunter of the famous mountain goats, it excellant camaflouge is the only elemant that helps in making a kill.

I find it very difficult to believe that it would have strayed 8K feet below in an area where it would stick out like a sour thumb.

Dogs being carried away in the hills or in the plains near forests is a very common phenomena/ The locals call the predator as "baagh". It actually is a Leopard. If you really watch closely, the Bhutia dogs of the hills are fitted with a spiked collar to prevent this.
Honestly, I too sometimes doubt it as I am not an expert in wildlife. But then my reasons for believing are:
1. It was creamish and with black spots
2. When I got home I researched on some of the cats and what I saw was most similar to the pictures of a snow leopard.

Also, I reasoned with myself that it since it was extremely cold maybe it had ventured there.

You are right about the elusiveness part, that was the reason why I was shell shocked.


P.S. Its definitely not a "baagh". I am aware of them. Unless it was an albino afterall !
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Old 5th June 2011, 01:05   #22
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

Could it be the fact that it was 2am, hence some fog and the focus of your headlights that made it seem whiter : a snow leopard? It could might as well have been a normal leopard.

Don't sweat over what type, ultimately you did see a beautiful wild cat!
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Old 5th June 2011, 11:04   #23
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Default Re: A hair raising experience - Encounter with a snow leopard!

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Could it be the fact that it was 2am, hence some fog and the focus of your headlights that made it seem whiter : a snow leopard? It could might as well have been a normal leopard.

Don't sweat over what type, ultimately you did see a beautiful wild cat!
Could be. Maybe the snow made it look whiter. Alas, I can never be sure. Period.

But like you said, it takes nothing away from the experience.
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