A full-length documentary about snow leopards filmed in Russia for the first time
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation
The documentary research film “Master of the Altai Mountains” tells about the adventures of the snow leopard. The film was voiced by the legendary zoologist and TV presenter Nikolai Drozdov and actor Konstantin Khabensky.
The Association of Nature Reserves and National Parks of the Altai-Sayan ecoregion reported this on its website.
“Can you imagine how many felines I saw? And I can say with full responsibility that the snow leopard is the most beautiful and graceful wild cat on the planet. But at the same time, it is a powerful predator, ideally adapted for life in extremely harsh conditions. Our common task is to protect the leopard, help him in difficult times and, of course, continuously observe and study this magnificent beast, as beautiful and mysterious as his native mountains,” the message quotes Nikolai Drozdov as saying.
As the association noted, this is the first time that the life of a snow leopard in the wild nature of Russia has been captured in such detail. The story takes place in the Altai Mountains, where snow leopards face the threat of extinction. The main character of the film is a snow leopard cub, whom the employees of the Sailyugemsky National Park named Tural (in Altai, “immortal”).
“The film has two parallel stories that converge at the end. We follow a young leopard who leaves his homeland and finds himself alone with the wild, adapts to the difficulties of life in unknown places, learns to hunt, find shelter and interact with other animals. The viewer is immersed in a world of desperate struggle for survival and confrontation with the danger posed by man. The second line talks about the difficulties of the work of inspectors and scientists of the national park, who protect the snow leopard, conduct observations and face numerous difficulties, including poaching,” the message says.
During an expedition along the snow leopard trails in the Argut River valley, the heroes find themselves in dangerous situations, but do not give up, continuing the fight for the preservation of these rare predators.
The film was made on the initiative and with the support of the Interregional Association “Center for the Study and Conservation of the Snow Leopard “Irbis”.
According to experts, there are about 75-90 snow leopards left in Russia. Among the reasons for the decline in the species' numbers are habitat destruction, infrastructure construction, poaching, reduction in food supply (wild ungulates), and shooting by herders in retaliation for attacks on livestock.