Koustubh, our Regional Field Biologist, sent us this great update recently:
Zaraa has done something really exciting this week… On the 19th, she set out South, all the way to China for an expedition through an area that seems to have no mountains at all!!! She went into the open steppe from the area that she has been inhabiting ever since she separated from her mom. She did an expedition of nearly 200 km in less than 5 days to return to exactly where she had started. What is most intriguing is that she touched the China border, walked along it for almost 28 km and then returned while making a large loop, and then following her own footsteps back. What is most intriguing is the fact that her expedition was in a direction where no mountains exist for up to 230 km in a straight line. However these mountains in China are pretty high and sometimes visible even from Tost. Whether she took off hoping that she can make it to these, or was she on a random walk is a question we may hope to answer using a bit of GIS and by making physical visits at the site from where she had launched herself on this first ever southward expedition by any of our collared cats. It will also be interesting to mark her locations and compare them with the locations of some of the oases that exist in the open steppe.