People have long been deeply fascinated by Mount Everest due to the mountain range's vast and enigmatic terrain. Curiosity has been piqued again by the discovery of one of the earth's rarest wildcats on the planet's highest mountain for the first time.
The first Pallas's cat sighting on Mount Everest, in the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, has been documented, according to a new paper that was published in Cat News, as per a release by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The 2019 National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition is responsible for this ground-breaking discovery.
From April 7 to May 2, 2019, Dr. Tracie Seimon of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Zoological Health Program, based at the Bronx Zoo, co-led the Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition biology field team of scientists who collected environmental samples from two locations 6 km (3.7 miles) apart at 5,110 and 5,190 m (16,765 and 17,027 ft) elevation above sea level along Sagarmatha National Park on Mount Everest's Southern Flank.
"It is phenomenal to discover proof of this rare and remarkable species at the top of the world," said Dr. Seimon.
According to Cat News, the Pallas's cat is a very distinctive looking felid with short legs, a stocky, compact build, and long fur that makes it look larger than it is. The hair on its underparts is nearly twice as long as on the top and sides, an adaptation that keeps Pallas's cat warm in the extreme cold winter conditions that are typical of its habitat.
"The coat colour of Pallas's cat varies from grey in the north of its range to tawny or fox-red in some parts of the south of its range."