“Once a trophy hunting concession, now a snow leopard sanctuary”
Sometimes wildlife champions come as high as heads of state. Since taking office in 2011 the current president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, has turned the former Soviet Republic into a centre point for snow leopard conservation and research. Perhaps the best symbol of Atambayev’s commitment to snow leopards are recent camera trap photos showing the elusive, high-altitude predator roaming Shamshy Wildlife Reserve. Just two years ago, Shamshy was a concession for high-paying trophy hunters looking to bag an ibex. Today, it’s protecting those prey animals that snow leopards depend on.