Eyes to eyes. Snow leopard, Mongolia, Photo author Elena Mashkova

project Manul
Portrait of Snow leopard captured in the wild. Mongolia, wild cat, irbis, Panthera uncia, Felis silvestris, Elena Mashkova
Snow leopard met in Mongolia, Ubsunur Basin Biosphere Reserve. The wild cat came to the regular trail of ibex and argali. Photo taken in March.

In this part of Mongolia, snow leopards are included in a transboundary group with the Russian Federation. There are nature reserves on both sides of the border to protect the irbis population and its habitat. Scientists exchange information and conduct joint activities. For example, using radio collars, they study the routes of snow leopards, the behavioral characteristics of both these cats in general and individual leopards.

Wild mountain goats climb down at dusk. In March, when it is especially difficult to get food, cats gather at the paths of hoofed mammals. Wild cat weddings also take place at this time. At night the leopards' «meows» were heard. I hope the acquaintances and meetings went well and kittens appeared on time. The image shows a male. Appeared before sunset. He showed no concern, rather curiosity.

This is my second meeting with a snow leopard. The excitement is just as strong