This post is a collection of wildlife photos taken on a week-long trip to the Indian Himalayas. Since part of the fauna’s charm in the region comes from its domesticated inhabitants, I’ve chosen to go with a rather lenient definition of ‘wildlife’.
Let’s start with the free and untamed of the animal kingdom.
A marmot. Marmots are large squirrels that live on the ground. And since squirrels are basically tree rats, that makes marmots very, very large … rats? This guy here is roughly the size of a chihuahua.
A butterfly on a plant. That’s about the extent of things I understand that are shown in this picture. If you recognize anything here, please feel free to enlighten me in the comments.
Technically not quite untamed, these dogs in stealth-color fur roam freely around a 5,000m high mountain pass.
Street mountain pass dogs in Ladakh are quite fluffy. Their lives seem to consist of lying around, waiting for food and barking at other dogs attempting to do the same in their spot.
With all other dogs around there being uniform gray, someone might have some explaining to do with this one.
Even though most of Ladakh is hills and rocks there are some … flowers? bushes? trees? If you thought I don’t know much about animals, I can assure you my flora expertise puts my fauna ignorance to shame. Whatever it is, it looks nice.
This pink-blossomed thing was photographed in front of Hemis Monastery an hour outside of Leh. If you go to the place, I can recommend walking around the monastery and exploring the back alleys and houses, rather than the touristic main square often showcased in pictures of the monastery.
And here are the animals under the yoke of hominid oppression.
A tired Bactrian camel after a long day of shuffling around tourists. The fur on a few of these animals looked ragged, but I’m not sure if that’s a mere seasonal change or a sign that the camels weren’t doing too well.
A yak having lunch. What’s interesting is that in these pictures, the grass looks really brown. Being surrounded by gray hills while driving through the countryside for hours though made it stand out bright green at the time the picture was taken.
A baby goat. In a whole den full of baby goats. While there are no shortage of goat herds grazing the mountains, it took us a while to find one of the sources: these were spotted in the small village of Spangmik by Pangong Lake.
Not pictured above are the snow leopard (which the average tourist doesn’t get to see anyway, though rest assured, they still exist) and the horses which, if you’re lucky, gallop alongside your car on your way to Pangong Lake and other sights.