Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Joe Rohde, Snow Leopards and a DVD Every Rohde Fan Needs!

We have some great news regarding The Leopard in the Land, the new documentary starring Joe Rohde chronicling his time in Mongolia helping to raise awareness about the endangered Snow Leopard. You can now get your DVD copy straight from eBay! Just click here

image copyright Snow Leopard Conservancy
We have been getting a lot of request and questions about this film since it was announced Mr. Rohde would be making this incredible journey. If you want to learn more about it click here to go to the Snow Leopard Conservancy website. And by the way, we plan on talking about this film quite a bit in future episodes of the Radio Harambe Podcast, so stay tuned.

Snow Leopard photographed at the Bronx Zoo
Snow leopards are found throughout a wide range in the mountainous regions of Central Asia. However, because of the small amount of food, the range for the individual animal is huge, meaning there just are not that many cats in the wild. In fact, most people who live in the region go their entire lives without ever seeing one. Scientists studying the animal can go years without spotting a cat, only finding footprints, scat and carcasses. The snow leopard with its coloration blends seamlessly with the rocks. You could be standing right next to one and never know it.

The snow leopard is, of course, named for its coat, an off white almost yellowish color. It has huge paws that not only help it kill its prey (typically blue sheep and ibex, but also rodents and ground birds), but also makes climbing its rocky home easier. The fur on the bottom of its pads help give it traction. It has a very long tail, about the length of its body, to give it tremendous balance. All adaptations that allow it to live in its inhospitable home.

Snow Leopard kitten and mother at the Bronx Zoo
With such wide ranging territories, snow leopards can go a long time before seeing another of its kind. To make up for that, the leopard leaves messages. Scent markings and claw rakings advertise their presence to other leopards. They will often rub their cheeks (much like house cats) on boulders. During breeding season, they also use their voices which can carry great distances in the mountains. The male has no role in raising the kittens. The mother will raise the litter, usually numbering 2 or 3, by herself for the first year and a half of the their lives.

According to the Snow Leopard Conservancy, there are only 4,500-7,500 left in the wild, placing them on the list of endangered species. They suffer from shrinking habitat and the loss of prey as a consequence. But they are also illegally hunted for their fur as well as their bones that are used for Asian medicines. Plus they are sometimes killed by farmers to protect livestock.

That is why organizations like the Conservancy are so important. Within their efforts to save these gorgeous cats, they assist and educate local farmers and herders to more effectively manage their livestock while limiting the threat to leopards. If you purchase the DVD, you will be directly helping them in their efforts. But take a look at the rest of their website. They have other Snow Leopard items for sale and you can even adopt a cat!

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe) and Safari Mike (@JamboEveryone)

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