Snow leopards are endangered, with ongoing poaching and habitat loss. There is only an estimated 6000 left in the world, with 600-700 in zoos. Exact numbers in the wild have not been determined due to the snow leopard’s shy elusive nature. Snow leopards are found at altitudes between 9,800 and 17,000 feet in the harsh, remote, mountainous areas of Afghanistan to Kazakstan and Russia in the north, with the majority located in the Himalayas of India & Tibetan region of China. It is important for zoos to have breeding programmes in place with these beautiful endangered animals if we are to see them in generations to come. This particular snow leopard is the beautiful Mimi who resides in Tama Zoo, Tokyo, and photographed by Steve Tracy (thanks once again Steve for allowing me to work from your beautiful photographs).
The final scratchboard and framed with a black oak and silver iron fillet
A closeup to show detailing of the fur. There is a lot of layering of 'scratches' made mostly with a #11 scalpel blade, tattoo needles and fibreglass brush. The eyes are coloured with Indian inks.
"We have the presence of a "real, live" Himalayan Snow Leopard in our home. Karen has lifted this "sculptured", in-depth living image from a scratchboard. It is brilliant! Mimi has us in her gaze wherever we are in our living area - those eyes remain fixed on us as we move about! We are under constant silent scrutiny.
Step back and Mimi has a perpetual non-threatening, all-seeing stare. As if, being of an endangered species she is, like a coroner, with calm contemplation attempting (in disbelief) to make sense of the thoughtlessness, carelessness, selfishness and greed of much of mankind."
- Margaret and Selwyn Barron, Motueka.
GET IN TOUCH