File photo – Snow leopard (Credit: iStock)
A snow leopard high in the mountains of China discovered that there is a camera used to take the picture of his surroundings. The snow leopard did what anyone would do when discovering a camera – a selfie.
The cameras were set up by British wildlife photographer and environmentalist Terry Townshend, who had hoped to get images from a remote part of China’s high mountains, but had not expected something remarkable to the snow leopard decided to approach.
“Six weeks ago, after the last round of the training for the local community in the Valley of the Cats, Qinghai Province, I placed a camera trap high in the mountains,” Townshend wrote on Twitter. “Yesterday, I picked up. Look what I found!
Six weeks ago, after the last round of the training for the local community in the Valley of the Cats, Qinghai Province, I placed a camera trap high in the mountains. Yesterday, I picked up. Look what I found! pic.twitter.com/5SaAUCWM9Y
— Birding Beijing 北京观鸟 (@BirdingBeijing) September 25, 2018
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Townshend said that the camera was placed 16,000 feet on the Tibetan Plateau, and told the Daily Mail that he never expected to get a set of photos like this.
“I am overwhelmed by joy,” Townshend told the Daily Mail. “I never thought I would be able to get a picture of a snow leopard looks into the camera like this.”
In the images, the snow leopard looking at the camera for a close-up and gets even closer, creating the perfect photos. There are only between 4,000 and 6,500 snow leopards in the world according to the World Wide Fund.
In September 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an upgrade of the snow leopard, long considered an endangered species — “vulnerable”, but experts warn the new format does not mean that they are safe.
In November 2017, American trophy hunter Hossein Golabchi, nicknamed “Soudy,” was seen in a photo circulating on social media, posing with a dead snow leopard he killed.
In the image, the snow leopard was seen with two shots in his hind leg. Golabchi, who was originally from Iran, is believed to have killed the animal in central Asia.
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The photo prompted an online petition for him, “tried” to go viral.
Fox News’ Alexandra Deabler and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia