ABC Foreign Correspondent program on snow leopards

April 30, 2009

The ABC’s Eric Campbell has trekked through the high altitude Hemis National Park where I did the Earthwatch Snow Leopard Project in 1998. He’s made a program for Foreign Correspondent to be screened on Tuesday 5th May at 8pm on ABC.

Eric Campbell Foreign Correspondent ABC

Eric Campbell Foreign Correspondent ABC

This part of northern India is now being called  “snow leopard heaven” because of the conservation programs supporting the cats, their prey species and the local villagers living there. The work being done here could be a template for saving big cats around the world. It’s a dramatic and remote landscape where people still largely survive off subsistence agriculture, as they have for centuries. There are no roads, and virtually no mod cons. Many villagers have just a few hours of solar power each day, and use animal dung to heat their homes and cook. ABC Foreign Correspondent

Campbell meets local farmers who are being trained to use remote control cameras to track the leopards. They’re also given assistance to construct predator proof pens for their livestock. Women can now earn money by providing food and accommodation for trekkers. And the farmers are educating school children about biodiversity.

Attitudes have changed, and snow leopards are now valued and protected.

There is also an interview with film maker Mitchell Kelly who was the first person to film snow leopards hunting and mating in the wild. (See Video clip from Mitchell’s film “Silent Roar” on the Video page of this Blog).

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Keeper Howie talking about cub births

April 22, 2009

A video from the Melbourne Zoo snow leopard sponsor’s day. Carnivore Keeper Adrian Howard, better known as Howie, tells stories about the birth of Tashi and Gobi and how first time mum, Meo rose to the occassion.


Video of Tashi and Gobi

April 15, 2009

The Herald Sun’s video of Tashi and Gobi. Watch keeper Howie talk about choosing the names for the cubs here.


It’s Tashi and Gobi

April 7, 2009

More than 2000 names were suggested for the new snow leopard cubs at the Melbourne Zoo before zookeepers decided on Tashi for the female and Gobi for the male.
Tashi, (I know this as my girl Australian terrier is called Tashi,) is the Tibetan word for lucky.
And Gobi of course, is a large national park in southern Mongolia where the highly endangered snow leopard is found.

Cubs named today and it's Tashi and Gobi. Pic by HeraldSun

Cubs named today and it's Tashi and Gobi. Pic by HeraldSun