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The Cats of Bhutan

Date: June 5, 2014 | By: Enid Glasgow | Category: Travel Blog

Bhutan is a land of incredible diversity – and beauty. Dramatic glacial mountain peaks, rugged alpine shrub, and subtropical forests create ideal habitats for thriving wildlife populations. But to be sure that man doesn’t tread too heavily on nature, the Bhutanese government has always been proactive, and progressive, in its environmental policies. Approximately 26 percent of the country is protected as biological refuges, and among its most treasured residents are the sleek, powerful cats. Big Five Tours offers you a ticket to this most isolated and exciting of lands.

Eurasian lynx, tiger, leopards…oh my!

In 2012, the wildlife community was thrilled when the elusive Pallas’s cat, also called manul, was captured on film in the Wangchuck Centennial Park. This species, rarely seen, has roamed Bhutan’s rocky ledges for millions of years, changing little. Also making an infrequent appearance on film that year was a baby snow leopard. These remarkable, and shy, creatures are endangered, and it is believed this sleeping baby, tailed curled around his body to keep warm, was one of only 7,000 left in the world.

Bhutan is the land of hidden beasts! In addition to these very rare species, researchers have discovered what they call “hidden” tigers, living in the Himalayas. It was previously thought that the beasts couldn’t stand the high altitude or frigid temperatures. Other feline inhabitants of Bhutan: the clouded and common leopards, the leopard cat (a little “big” cat), the Asian Golden Cat, marbled cat, and the Eurasian lynx.

While big cats are notoriously elusive, that can’t stop intrepid travelers from trying – and, in the process, seeing Bhutan’s gorgeous landscape and other wildlife species – at the various national parks. Royal Manas National Park, a World Heritage Site, Wangchuck, Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, Thrumshingla National Park, Jigme Dorji National Park, and many other parks and refuges allow visitors to enjoy the best of Bhutan.

Visiting Bhutan

To protect its natural resources and biodiversity, Bhutan requires a daily tourist tariff. If you have been searching for an exclusive experience, look no further. Big Five Tours can arrange your trip, and a local guide will accompany you. In addition to the gorgeous vistas and wealth of natural beauty, you will have the opportunity to engage with Bhutan’s vibrant culture, discover hidden villages, tour historic monasteries, and meet with warm and welcoming Bhutanese people.

Explore Bhutan; there are wonders to behold at every turn, both natural and manmade. And always keep an eye open for the mysterious, sleek, big cats!

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