Silent Roar: Searching for the Snow Leopard


Acclaimed wildlife filmmakers capture the first intimate portrait of the world’s most elusive cat.

Most big cats do their best to remain hidden from human eyes, but none are quite as adept at this as the snow leopard. These cats lead largely solitary lives, populating the Himalayas at altitudes that offer only about half the oxygen to which humans are accustomed. So when wildlife filmmakers Hugh Miles and Mitchell Kelly set out to film this animal they knew they were in for a challenge.

The filmmakers chose Hemis National Park in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir as their base camp. There they selected a team of native mountaineers and trackers to accompany them into the Himalayas. The team climbed as high as 15,000 feet, tracking the cats via paw prints in the snow and the scented urine that snow leopards use to mark their territory. The group also concealed remote, sensor-activated cameras equipped with infrared light to allow for stealth, night observation of the cats.

After five weeks without a single sighting, the team finally spotted one of the rare cats on a mountain ledge. After several months, the filmmakers had doggedly compiled a growing body of work. The crew filmed close-ups of several cats and identified individuals.

To further improve their understanding of the snow leopards’ complex behavior, the filmmakers turned to Rodney Jackson, director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Jackson’s insights helped them achieve greater success in filming snow leopards hunting, courting, and even mating — none of which had previously been captured on film.

In the end, Miles and Kelly accomplished most of their goals, with only one disappointment: they did not find a litter of cubs. At one point, they did spot a female followed by a little youngster. But mother and cub quickly vanished into the snowy realm in which the elusive snow leopard reigns. Buy the DVD. This film premiered January 16, 2005.

  • Mike Dominici

    I am looking forward to this one. A rare and beautiful creature that has rarely been seen much less followed and filmed.


    This show will be great.There is so much to know about the snow leopard.

  • jackie

    My favorite of all the big cats,the most beautiful also. I love there huge paws and thick fluff tails. they just take my breath away.

  • Linda

    I enjoyed every bit of the program about the snow leopards in the Himalayas…I LOVED seeing the one little cub, if only for a second. It was gorgeous. The snow leopard is an amazing animal, living in the most horrid of natures climates. I applaud the film makers and researchers for giving their time so we can find out more about this wonderful animal. Thank you

  • Rose

    Just finished watching the Snow Leopard program. Fantastic! Such amazing views of the Leopards and the area that these photographers & crews braved to get those photos!



  • Kathleen Kendrick

    Thank you so much!!

  • Julia

    That was amazing. I love it! Snow leopards are beautiful creatures and I hope they live a while longer so that the next generation can adore them!

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