Patience and Hope in Snow Leopard Country

Colorful flags carry prayers on the wind high on Bongteyla pass (photo: Bhutan Foundation)
Colorful flags carry prayers on the wind high on Bongteyla pass (photo: Bhutan Foundation)

As the whole nation of Bhutan kicks off a year-long celebration of the 60th birth anniversary of the revered monarch, the fourth King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck (who turns 60 on November 11, 2015), there are ample reasons to celebrate his visionary leadership and statesmanship. He was a champion of environmental conservation, and the following story emanates from his stewardship.

Snow leopard caught in Jigme Dorji National Park camera trap (photo: JDNP)

Well above timberline (around 4200 m for much of Bhutan), breathing becomes laborious for many people due to less oxygen in the rarified air. A short climb up a mountain switchback could leave you panting for breath. But not so for Kencho Dorji. He tends his yaks near the 4820 m high Bongteyla Pass in Jigme Dorji National Park in northwest Bhutan. He told us about a recent incident with his neighbors: snow leopards.

Kencho milking his yaks in the morning.
Kencho Dorji milking his yaks in the morning (photo: Bhutan Foundation)

He began, “Late one evening in July, a ruckus behind a small ridge not far from —> Read More Here

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