Sarah Barrell braves sub-zero temperatures to trek across the Siberian wilderness in search of the elusive and endangered snow leopard
It’s the middle of the night on the edge of the world. On the fringes of civilisation where man and beast have barely left a mark, 12 people are sleeping in small nylon tents. Pitched in the scant shelter of two towering mountains, the camp is at the mercy of the elements; and here on the edge of the world, where the steppe rolls relentlessly towards the horizon, the elements aren’t that accommodating.
And what of the occupants of these tents? Are they dreaming of sprung mattresses and central heating systems? No. You can bet what they are dreaming of is that sometime during the next two weeks in the Siberian wilderness, they will cross paths with a large, rare, wild cat. The occupants of these tents have come to the ends of the earth in the name of feline conservation.