Snow leopards are one of the most mysterious species on the planet, referred to by locals as 'mountain ghosts'.
Tragically today they are critically endangered with maybe as few as 3,500 remaining alive in the wild, all in Central Asia.
On 9th July 2011 I will set out to drive a second hand ambulance along the old Silk Road from London to Tajikistan, a journey of allegedly around 7000 miles of often rather "iffy" roads.
I'll be hiking the Middle East's highest mountain (Mt Damavand in Iran, 18,600ft) and driving across some of Asia's hottest deserts, in summer. The Lonely Planet is particularly encouraging on this: "...only the insane or the deeply unfortunate find themselves in Ashgabat in July and August, when the temperature can push 50C". Oh lovely.
The destination is Tajikistan and it's majestic Pamir Mountains. The much needed ambulance will be given to a local hospital and go straight into active service.
One of the charities I am fundraising for is Panthera and the crucial work they do for the conservation of our planet's big cats.
In Tajikistan their Snow Leopard Program is aimed at researching and protecting this beautiful and elusive creature in the Pamir Mountains - one of their last few remaining natural habitats & a crucial link between others to the north and south.
There are only between 3,500 & 7,000 snow leopards living in the wild today, spread across remote mountain ranges in 12 countries around Central Asia. Their exact numbers are unknown because they are extremely secretive, and live in some of the harshest environments on the planet.
Panthera's mission is to ensure the future of wild cats such as the snow leopard and the tiger (as seen in the recent BBC documentary "Lost Land of the Tiger").
I passionately believe that we need to take urgent action to save some of the planet's most incredible animals from extinction.
Please dig deep, sponsor me and support this work now!
Cheers & many thanks for you kind support,
+44 (0)7980 292258 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous incompetence: http://www.saharasurf.co.uk
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