Scrolling through Facebook a couple of days ago I came across this photo by my snow-leopard-watching friend in Ladakh Morup Theat.
It sent a clichéd but nonetheless wholly real shiver down my spine. For clearly it is a Eurasian lynx. I have spent hundreds of hours scanning frosty mountainsides in Ladakh and never seen a Eurasian lynx. Most of my Ladakhi friends and colleagues, who have spent untold thousands of hours scanning mountainsides, have seen the lynx only once or twice, or have never seen it at all. But here, in a photo taken at great range, was a lynx.
So I wrote to Morup and immediately he replied that he'd taken the photo at Rumbak Sumdo, the snowy plain at the top of the Rumbak Valley, above our camp, where last I stood in February and took this photo.
So, many thanks Morup for letting me use your photo, and congratulations on seeing your lynx. Iberian lynx I have seen this year, and wonderfully, but Eurasian no (except the northern subspecies at the Highland Wildlife Park). Perhaps I never shall. The older I get the more I find I enjoy the looking, beside beautiful-hearted colleagues the world over. The seeing these days is secondary.
Not, of course, that I'd say no to a Eurasian lynx.
|Northern lynx at the Highland Wildlife Park|
|Iberian lynx Jasper by José Manuel Bernal|