He had been waiting an eternity for a glimpse of the almost mythical creature that lived in the mountains in Asia.

Seeing it on film was one thing, the chance to see one alive was something else. And time was running out – this old male was the last one left.

A hush of wind through the trees, a moment of pause, silence descended. Everything else in his life filtered away: and there he was.

The sleek Snow Leopard padded across the rough stone and gravel. It stopped and looked around, sniffing the cold air, sensing he was being observed.

The old man held his breath, staying as still as he could. Carefully he raised his camera, framed the large cat, focused and hit the rapid fire button.

The last of his kind and the old man held each others gaze before the leopard turned and slunk away through long grass. A magical moment the man had waited for his whole life.

A tug at his arm broke the spell. ‘Grandad, can we get a hotdog now?’ Maxwell whined.

‘Sure,’ he said, turning away from the mesh fence. ‘Let’s go.’

They pushed their way through the noisy crowd towards the cafe enclosure.


Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Feature image: Copyright WWF.

58 responses to “THE LAST SNOW LEOPARD”

  1. As the blessed Joni says
    ‘Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    ‘Till it’s gone’
    Expertly written, Iain, you tug something deep inside here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Keith. I have seen a couple in the Highland Wildlife Park. They are majestic, and they did look pretty bored behind a fence, but as they were part of a global conservation and breeding programme, so hopefully some good will come from it.


      • Well worth a visit Keith. Certainly better than most zoos, the animals have much more space and the animals there seem well cared for and a lot are part of protection and conservation projects. A new baby polar bear recently born as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s some beautiful writing. You really had me going and I thought he found the leopard in the wild. So sad to think the last one might someday be found in a zoo. I hope it never comes to that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It can be a magical moment to come face to face with a creature like that, even in such a mundane setting as a zoo. I liked how we saw only the leopard through the man’s eyes, and not the civilization on either side.

    How tragic to think of yet another species we may see the “last one” of in our lifetimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great twist. This had such tension I wondered if he would raise a gun instead of a camera so was glad to be wrong on that score. And great to know he hasn’t lost his imagination as he grows older.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was great! I really thought that he was out in the wild spotting the last snow leopard.
    i was even a little afraid that when the snow leopard slunk into the grass that he would appear again, attacking the man! The man may have got a snapshot of the last leopard but was it worth it?
    I like your ending better! 🙂 Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a kid, I used to love going to the zoo, but as I grew older, I realized how cramped the conditions of the majestic wild animals were, and so, stopped visiting zoos altogether. Find it very depressing now. But I guess places like these could also be the only way to keep some magical species safe from us humans. On the other hand, not sure if those royal creatures feel it is worth it 😦 Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like the others say, I thought he was seeing the leopard in the wild, and, like another commenter, was concerned he would be attacked. I also thought he was going to capture the snow leopard.

    Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

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