In some parts of Siberia, snow leopards have been nearly wiped out due to poachers hunting the animals for their distinctive spotted coats. But in Russia’s Altai Mountains the snow leopard population is on the rise thanks to former poachers who are now helping scientists to preserve them.
In 2015 the World Wildlife Fund started a project which offered six hunters a chance to become snow leopard wardens. Thanks to the project, the hunters’ knowledge of the animal’s movements and trap-setting that was once used for hunting, is now being reclaimed to monitor the vulnerable population of these big cats. Have a look at this wonderful video here that displays the transformation from poacher to protector.