Orjan is a Swedish PhD student who bought a one-way ticket to Mongolia to work at the base camp of our long-term research project. These are his adventures…
We placed a GPS tracking collar on a fifth snow leopard. It is a male, what else to expect. We might have hit jackpot though, he weighs 33.8 kg and looks very young. I am starting to think that maybe he and Shonkhor are brothers and these two SL were the “kittens” that raided the herder along with their mother in February. Maybe they have just dispersed from their mother and are still in her home range. Or it is a mere co-incidence. Both of them are almost identical in size and weight. Meg and I are almost sure that the new guy is two years old.
When we analyze the DNA samples I guess we will know, and when some data comes in from the collars we will see if the two move together. If they are brothers and dispersals, then…wow.
The new cat has the prettiest spot pattern of all our identified SL and therefore we have named him Saikhan (Beautiful in Mongolian).
Saikhan can’t be considered a kitten, and even if it turns out that he is associated to his mother I would call him a subadult. I only have one collar left now.