Sighting of the Ghost of the Mountain in the Lower Terai Region
January 26, 2024
The sighting of the Ghost of the Mountain in the Lower Terai Region of Nepal has surprised everyone. A sudden encounter with an endangered “Mountain Ghost” sighting in the Terai has surprised all the people including the conservationists. On January 23, the residents from the Charghare, Urlabari Municipality-1 spotted a snow leopard in the lower Terai region. The elevation of Urlabari is 146 meters above sea level.
The National Trust for Nature Conservation’s conservation officer, Govinda Prasad Pokharel, states that snow leopards inhabit altitudes between 3000 and 6000 meters. The snow leopard was shot and captured. Veterinarians from the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) in the adjacent Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve identified it as a snow leopard.
South Asia’s twelve nations make up the habitat of the snow leopard. There are around 300–400 snow leopards in the world. So the sightings of snow leopards are very rare, even in the mountainous area. People wait years to see the ghost, so the conservationists were shocked to have the unexpected glimpse. Pokharel claims that after the animal was shot and captured, veterinarians from the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) in the adjacent Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve identified it as a snow leopard.
“It is unusual for humans, but not for snow leopards, and it has happened for the first time in Nepal,” said Dr. Madhu Chetri, a conservation biologist with a PhD in snow leopards. To establish their territory, male cubs usually go away from their mothers between the ages of 21 and 24 months. They cover great distances in search of a good spot to mark their territory.
Male cubs stay with their mother for 12 months. And then, at the age of 21 to 24 months, they start to explore their territory. It may have become lost while pursuing its target and was seen from such a height.
Additionally, male cubs can go 50–60 km in a single day. The Kanchenjungha corridor and Charghare, Urlabari, are about 100 kilometers apart vertically. Because of this, I don’t believe it is completely abnormal for them.”
Dr. Madhu, who also heads the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project, noted that “snow leopards travel throughout the Kanchenjunga corridor from Nepal to India and Bhutan,” adding, “This could be because the big cat lost its way or traveled the wrong way after leaving its mother.”
The snow leopard was injured and has been transported to the Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur for treatment. And brought to Kathmandu because it is at a favorable height. Hope it will be set free from the caged zoo because all the animals have the right to live in the wild.
Online Itinerary: Snow leopard Encounter in Nepal
- 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar – 830 m
- 02: Drive from Besi Sahar to Chame – 2,725 m
- 03: Drive from Chame to Manang – 3,500 m (Rest Day)
- 04- 09: Trek and track Snow Leopard in different locations
- 10: Drive back to Besi Sahar
- 11: Drive to Kathmandu