A photographer and government official from India has shared rare pictures and video of the “ghost of the mountains,” snow leopard cubs and their loving mother. Ankur Rapria said he saw the family after a trek of 4 to 5 kilometers (Over 2.4 to 3+ miles) near the picturesque village of Kibber in the Spiti Valley.
Snow leopards in Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. Screenshots via video by Ankur Rapria/Twitter.
Taking a picture of the snow leopards here is rare, much less a video of two running, playful cubs and their mother lovingly grooming them (see video below).
To put it in perspective, for more than 20 years, there was only one photograph of the leopards in circulation, taken by George Schaller in Chitral Gol, Pakistan, in 1970. That photograph appeared in a book called “The Snow Leopard.”
Four decades later, Schaller said the leopards had only grown slightly less mysterious.
Photograph by George Schaller from 1970.
Kibber village is famous for the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary and the highest post office and motorable road in the world, at 14200 feet elevation. The Himalayas surround the village, home to rare endangered animals like snow leopards, Ibex, blue sheep, bearded eagles, griffons, and the Himalayan wolf.
“Look at love, joy, n happiness, when Snow Leopard Cubs reunite with the mother after hearing her call. Kibber, Himachal Pradeshm,” tweeted the photographer.