Fifteen years of constant searching have finally paid off for doctoral student Som Ale, who has finally seen the elusive snow leopard in the wild. Ale saw two snow leopards and tracks of two more on the slopes of Mount Everest, the first sighting of this rare creature on the mountain since the 1960s.
There are estimated to be between 300 and 500 snow leopards left in Nepal. A national park was set up on Everest in 1976 to protect habitat for the snow leopard. Ale's sighting confirms that the park has helped the leopards repopulate the area.
Ale was alerted to the presence of the leopards by watching the behaviour of their favoured prey in the area, Himalayan tahrs, which were whistling in alarm.
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