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Program Big Cats Initiative

  • Big cat trapper Boone Smith and his team in Afghanistan set a trap, hoping to catch a snow leopard. It is estimated that there are no more than 200 snow leopards in all of Afghanistan. Scientists know little about them. By catching a snow leopard, Boone and his team hope to collar it with a radio tracker. Doing so will provide vital scientific information about these mysterious leopards.

     

    This clip is from National Geographic's Big Cat Week episode "Snow Leopard of Afghanistan." Big Cat Week is part of the Big Cats Initiative. To learn more, visit the Big Cats Initiative website.

    1. What's the most important step in setting the trap?

      Setting the anchor is the most important part of setting the trap.

    2. What are the four steps in setting the trap?

      The four steps are: setting an anchor, setting the snare, securing the transmitter, and remaking the scrape.

    3. Why is the Afghan team member skeptical of Boone's trap and how does Boone reassure him?

      The Afghan team member is skeptical because Boone and the team are disturbing the area where they are setting the trap. The Afghan team member thinks the cat will be scared away and won't return to this spot. Boone reassures him by explaining that they will recreate the area and make scrape sets once they are done setting the trap. Boone explains that snow leopards look for visual scrapes, and when the cat sees the team's scrape set, it will return to mark it.

    4. What is Boone's top priority?

      Boone's top priority is the safety of the cats.

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