"Master of the Altai Mountains": New Documentary Showcases Endangered Snow Leopards

"Master of the Altai Mountains": New Documentary Showcases Endangered Snow Leopards

Source: Raketa Releasing 

The feature-length documentary film "Master of the Altai Mountains" will be released in cinemas on June 13th. The film will show the world of snow leopards - rare predators on the verge of extinction amidst the picturesque nature of the Altai Mountains. The film was narrated by the legendary zoologist and TV presenter Nikolai Drozdov and actor Konstantin Khabensky. 

This was reported by the distributor company Raketa Releasing. The film was shot in the Saylyugemsky National Park in the Altai Republic on the initiative and with the support of the Interregional Association "Center for the Study and Conservation of the Snow Leopard "Irbis".  

"An irbis cub named Tural, which means "immortal" in translation from the Altai language, was born in the Saylyugemsky National Park. During the winter famine, all his snow leopard siblings perished, and Tural was the only survivor. But when the threat to his life was over, he disappeared from the sight of park employees. What difficulties will he face in the wild? Will he survive? Will he return to his native Saylyugem?" - says the press release of the company about the film. The team worked on the creation of the film for three years, having been on several large-scale expeditions on the trails of snow leopards. 

"The operators managed to capture unique shots of the most elusive and mysterious cat in the world and the incredible beauty of the Altai Republic. For the first time, viewers will see such a detailed film about the life of snow leopards," the distributors noted. Nikolai Drozdov shared his impressions of working on the film.  According to the scientist, in his life he has seen many different representatives of the cat family and is convinced 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, perfectly adapted to life in extremely harsh conditions." 

"Our common task is to protect the leopard, to help it in difficult times and, of course, to continuously observe and study this magnificent animal, as beautiful and mysterious as its native mountains," Drozdov emphasized, whose words are quoted in the press release. The directors of the film are Vadim Vitorvtsev and Ilya Tsyganov. In Russia, the leopard is listed in the Red Book, and is a priority species of the federal project 

"Preservation of biological diversity and development of ecological tourism". 

The reasons for the decline in the number of the species include habitat destruction, infrastructure construction, poaching, a reduction in the forage base (wild ungulates), and shooting by cattle breeders in retaliation for attacks on livestock. In April 2024, the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia reported the latest data on the number of snow leopards in the country - for the first time since 2015, it amounted to at least 87 individuals. These results were announced by specialists from the Saylyugemsky National Park and the Irbis Association based on the results of a full-scale census. This year, expeditions to assess the number and condition of snow leopards were held for the first time in all four regions of the species' habitat in Russia - the republics of Tyva, Altai, Buryatia, and Krasnoyarsk Krai.

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