IT’S THE DAY OF THE PREMIERE! This is the last time we are sharing a blog post from Daniel Byers, who was assistant camera and a shooter on Snow Leopard of Afghanistan.
Check out this behind the scenes perspective and be sure to tune into Snow Leopard of Afghanistan at 8pm and 10pm Eastern Time, and 7pm Pacific Time TODAY, Sunday, December 9 on Nat Geo Wild.
Tony Gerber will be live-tweeting during the 8pm ET premiere @marketroadfilms. Place #BigCatWeek in your tweet and join the conversation.
May 29 2012
Originally posted on Daniel Byers’ Skyship Films Blog
With the collaring finished and the animal released, we gave Hussain Ali, whose incredible expertise of the area and snow leopards made the capture possible, the honor of naming our cat. He thought about it for a long time, then returned with the name “Paliwan”, which in Wakhi means “the fighter” or “the competitor”. It was clear the leopard had been in some recent scrapes, and had the shreds of one ear to prove it, so the name seemed right. Now, with our field work barely begun and a capture already completed, what’s next?
The first order of business is to get our camp into the mountains – no mean feat, as we’re moving a staff of nearly 20 people into the field. We’re leaving the traps alone for tonight – there’s some concern that the tranquilizer drugs used on Paliwan will make him forget his experience (like a bender) and he might stumble into the same trap twice, which would be very bad for him as well as for us. I set out to film the donkey caravan bringing our tents and gear up the valley from a wide angle, while Tony stayed in for the closeups. Boone and Goodrich are in high spirits and getting a little cocky – “at this rate, we’ll catch one a day,” says Goodrich. Considering that two days ago these guys were grinning sadly and saying it was a shame that we’d come all this way and just didn’t have time to catch a leopard, expectations have done a 180.
Now, if our GPS tracking software works, we’ll be able to see Paliwan’s movements transposed onto a google map of the valley every day!