The beautiful Himalayan range that spans different countries, primarily Indian and Nepal, offers challenging treks that unfurl gorgeous views. The Himalayas give an explorer an experience like never before. Be its picturesque landscapes, a local tribe, marvellous monasteries, it offers a trek of a lifetime. This heavenly abode is home to some of the most peculiar wildlife. Many trekkers tread uphill just to spot these beautiful Himalayan animals who have found peace and solace in this luscious range.
1. Snow Leopard: The snow leopard is clearly one of the most adored Himalayan animals. Despite being so elusive, once you spot the white-furred creatures, you won’t be able to take your eyes off. They move around in their confined territories and feed on blue sheep. They are not really known to attack humans, but they are best left undisturbed. You can find them in the Eastern and Western Himalayan ranges.
2. Himalayan Black Bear: This breed of Himalayan animals has a whitish patch on its chest. It is typical to black bears residing in the cold mountains. While they are found in Kashmir for sure, do keep a watch out for them in Sikkim too.
3. Himalayan Tahr: To put it simply, you could call them Himalayan wild goat with longer and deeper brown hair. They are found grazing along mountain slopes and are fond of leaves, shrubs and grass just like regular goats. Their skin is thicker and their bodies are adapted to the cold desert and mountainous regions.
4. Red Panda: While crossing a strip of bamboo trees on your trek, you must keep your eyes peeled for small red bear-like mammals. Yes, you will find red pandas there, munching away on their dose of greens. They look more like a fusion between a cat and a panda. Sadly, red panda poaching is on the rise.
5. Himalayan Yak: Think of a tad tanned yak and black ox and you have the Himalayan Yak. This species is found in the foothills of the Himalayas and doubles up as a ride for the locals. In fact, their milk, meat and fur are used by the natives as well. Ever tried a yak safari? This could be your chance.
6. Bharal (Himalayan Blue Sheep): They are commonly referred to as blue sheep or naur. Although not blue in colour, they are a clear member of the goat-antelope sect and have chiselled horns pointed backwards. These graceful animals are generally found at 4,000 feet above sea level or higher.
7. Musk Deer: You must have heard of the perfume made from the gland that stores scent in the male musk deer. Yes, it is this species that can be identified from, rather smelled from a distance. Unfortunately, the cases of poaching have been rising and this animal is now an endangered species. It is one of the rarest Himalayan animals and prefers staying away from human civilization.
8. Himalayan Marmot: These cute little social animals come in all sizes and are rather friendly in nature. These adorable mammals resemble squirrels. They live and move around in colonies and feed on anything green, right from tubers and roots to leaves and fruit.
9. Civet: Spot a long-tailed racoon-like civet in the mountains and you will know it’s the gem-faced civet with a brownish-orange or grey fur. They are commonly called the masked palm civet as they can be seen on trees, sleeping when they are not hunting. Their predatory instincts are nocturnal and that is when they are in their most active state.
10. Himalayan Monal: So far the animals have stolen the show. However, a special mention of this beautiful wild bird has to be made. A trek would be considered complete if you would spot this brightly coloured bird in its glory. Their distinct feathers and metallic crest make for gorgeous pictures. Keep your camera ready and click away.
As much as you would love to pat some of these animals, the best thing to do would be to admire them from a distance, of course. Stay away from animal attacks and enjoy the natural habitat in its true form. Don’t mess with the system.