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Severely endangered snow leopard found in remote Afghanistan

World's most elusive cat photographed at more than 16 locations in Wakhan Corridor

Snow leopards found in AfghanistanEnlarge
A number of highly endangered snow leopards have been discovered in the mountains of Afghanistan. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

There's no hope for stores running dangerously low on Snow Leopard, Apple's operating system, but there is for the real snow leopard — in one of the most remote corners of Afghanistan.

A "surprisingly healthy population" of snow leopards has been discovered in the mountainous region of the Wakhan Corridor, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reported.

The Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of land with no modern roads between Tajikistan and Pakistan's Hindu Kush range, was made famous by Greg Mortenson's book Stones into Schools.

The WCS spotted the rare and elusive cats at 16 different locations using remote cameras. "The discovery gives hope to the world's most elusive big cat, which calls home to some of the world's tallest mountains. Between 4,500 and 7,500 snow leopards remain in the wild scattered across a dozen countries in Central Asia," the WCS stated.

Although snow leopards once roamed many of Central Asia's mountain regions, the species has suffered a 20 percent decline due to poaching and the illegal pet trade in recent years. Researchers with the WCS, say only 4,500 to 7,500 snow leopards still wander in the wild, msnbc.com reported.

Apparently, even in the Great Game, cats have nine lives.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/green/wildlife-news/110715/severely-endangered-snow-leopard-found-remote-afghanistan