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Topic: Attacked by a Snow Leopard< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2002, 2:38 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

As we had no school today, I decided to go on a day hike. My trek took me over the hill to the next village west of here, Phyang, a total of 14 miles. I had done this trek during September's full moon, starting at 10PM, and finishing at 8:30AM. Afterwards, a guy from my school told me that this area is a good place to see snow leopards. So, with snow up there, I decided to go back.

The trek is an extremely difficult one, and I was hesitant to return. But, time was available, and I decided to go for it. Last time I did the trek without ever having been there, and went the wrong way twice. This time with daylight, I knew exactly where to go.

The route went from my apartment via roads to the village of Gyamso north and west of Leh. This is a long village in a side valley. At the far end, it starts climbing up a side valley to that side valley to a set of herders huts and animal pens. Instead of going directly to the pass between Gyamso and Phyang, I cut left up a ridge and followed that a couple miles to the pass. This ridge is a difficult one, with steep climbs at 16,000 feet, and big rocks to go around. But, footing is good, and there are very few loose stones. The entire way I was keeping an eye out for movement among the stones and snow with the binoculars, but I saw nothing.

From the pass, I descended the snow slopes to the west to the river that feeds Phyang. As I was off the ridge and approaching civilization, the binoculars were away and I was route-finding. All of a sudden I got knocked down from behind. It turned out to be a snow leopard that was not big (3 feet not counting the tail). Being bundled up for the near-zero temperatures, he didn't hurt me other than scrapes on my hands when I landed. But the scarf and hood of my jacket are torn up on the back of the neck. He backed off briefly, and made another jump, this time for my throat. I braced myself with my arm, and got a sleeve shredded. The third time he jumped I was ready with my trekking pole and hit him along the side of the head. He growled and backed off. He followed me for about two more hours, and whenever he got too close, I got my pole into postition and he backed off.

After all this, I got to the long village of Phyang. Hearing the bus, and knowing I was still a kilometer from the turnaround I resigned myself to a walk lasting until 1:00AM. But, the bus came right up to where I was, turned around there, and let off four women. So, I had a ride back to Leh.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2002, 3:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Keith!!!!!! No wonder I worry about you!!!!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2002, 7:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Sounds like this snow leopard was unusually aggressive, especially for such a smallish one. It must have been an inexperienced juvenile and really hungry. Glad to hear you came through it OK. I'd really miss your regular reports if the leopard had been a better hunter. Smiler

How did the bus passengers react to seeing your torn up clothes when you boarded the bus? And I'm also kinda curious how locals react to these kinds of events. Is there any hysteria to hunt the critter down? Is there even any kind of reporting system/authority to keep track of these kind of events?

It is my understanding that snow leopards are usually very shy and usually not aggressive against humans. Kinda like cougars/mountain lions here in the US of A. Am I mistaken?

Once again, glad you made it through OK. And please keep posting these great reports. I find them fascinating.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2002, 8:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, inherent danger aside, what a raw, exciting interaction with wildlife you had! Amazing! I'm glad you got out OK...and with a facinating experience.
I've been enjoyinging your posts....

Snowshoe

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2002, 8:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Thanks for the report. I always enjoy your stories and I'm glad you made it through this one. Did you have nightmares or other stress related incidents after this event?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2002, 10:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Man, attacked by a snow leopard! What a story! I am glad you AND the snow leopard survived the attack in one piece. I have nothing to compare to this story, other than being attacked by a blacktail deer once.

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All this time I was finding myself, and I didn't know I was lost. ~Avicii
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2002, 3:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Hungry kitty..now that's an experience you'll never forget..and I won't either for awhileBig Grin

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 25 2002, 8:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

any chances the snow leopard has rabies?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2002, 6:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh my what a tale. I'm so glad you are okay. It's good to hear from you, I don't always respond to your stories, just know that I always read them and look forward to your adventures. Happy New Year to you!
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2002, 10:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

but that was maybe a bit closer than you had hoped. I am irked you saw your Snow Leopard before I saw my Musk Oxen. Keep the reports coming, and your eyes and ears open.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2002, 8:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

I've been told not to worry. But, I'll know in about 5 weeks for sure - about the time I'm headed in to Everest Base Camp! I hope I don't bite fellow trekkers.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2002, 8:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thanks for responding about the rabies. look forward to hearing about everest.
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 Post Number: 13
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2003, 4:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

nm
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2003, 4:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Maybe you don't get out enough to have some hair raising adventures of your own?

Every year before the real hiking season starts, my wife & I try to predict what our best animal encounter will be like - the only rule is to be realistic. Most years, we seem to under predict the craziness of our best encounter. We didn't even come close to predicting the intensity our best bear story of 2002.

Either way Burntfoot, it was a gripping read.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2003, 5:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll refer you to my post in the Trailhead Register under "Wildlife encounters."

http://forums.backpacker.com/viewMessage.jsp?message=12...thread=13899&forum=6

According to the International Snow Leopard Trust and the International Society for Endangered Cats, there are no recorded incidents of snow leopard attacks on humans. So I ain't buyin' it, regardless of whether I've had hair-raising adventures or not.
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 Post Number: 16
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2003, 6:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hey, of course one shouldn't blindly accept every bleedin claim on the web, but I think this one's legit.

This is a website with accounts of many of burntfoot's adventures. he posts here often, too.
http://www.oktrails.com

Here's the forum listing the address as well as a lively & vivid aacount of a Ladakhi wedding reception. there are many more on these forums, too.

http://forums.backpacker.com/thread.jsp?forum=18&thread=12937

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Finally, anyone who uses the terms irregardless, whole nother, or all of the sudden shall be sentenced to a work camp. -Stewie Griffin
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2003, 9:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

assuming Dr. Pivo has not been around long enough on these boads to have known Burntfoot before he left the states to go abroad. If you doubt his stories, then do a search on Burnfoot's past postings and read them!! Otherwise, deal with it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2003, 12:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Snow leopards are near mythical. To see one is an extreme rarity. Specialists spend years in the mountains of Central Asia trying to observe one with little luck. Moreover, there is still little known about snow leopards since humans haven't observed them well enough.

So the other possibilities are that
- It was not a snow leopard that really attacked
- Snow leopards might attack humans, just that this hasn't been observed yet (especially since we know so little about them).
- There was something already troubling the snow leopard that the person doesn't know about.

My only doubt is that a snow leopard would not follow a human, especially for two hours.

If I ever saw a snow leopard, it would be the highlight of any trip to Central Asia.
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 Post Number: 19
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2003, 2:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm well aware that he's posted here for some time. I'm not sure how you connect past postings (which may or may not be totally accurate - I'm not saying they aren't by the way) with this posting, which, frankly, describes something apparently unique in the annals of modern human science.

And just what the fark does "deal with it" mean? I merely pointed out the improbability of this account being totally accurate, and thought I did it in a respectful way. I suggest you deal with that.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2003, 5:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

about the boy who cried wolf?

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2006, 5:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

I'm bumping all of these India stories to the top, so they won't be lost when the new software kicks in.
Keith

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2014, 12:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And, my most controversial post from India.  It was a hoax, and several people bit.  I still have forum members from over 10 years ago that still won't talk to me because they were taken in by this.  Dr. Pivo was just about the only person who figured it out, and others were defending me.  When I let the cat out of the bag, they weren't happy.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2014, 8:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

that's a crazy story!!
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23 replies since Dec. 20 2002, 8:41 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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