Tailing Arabia’s Last Leopards: An Environmental Reporting Road Trip through Yemen (Part III)
Early this spring, I joined a weeklong expedition through Yemen’s Haraz Mountains and Western Highlands to track the Arabian leopard – one of the rarest animals in the world. Join this five-part series detailing the 1,000-kilometer journey that took me from rusted-out pickup trucks with rifle-wielding mango farmers to cave-homes hewn out of sheer cliffs in search of the elusive big cat. With stories of extremism and conflict dominating media coverage of Yemen, take a rare inside look at the ecological surprises nestled amidst the country’s isolated valleys as I investigate the barrage of threats assailing some of the most remote and least studied natural environments on the planet.
Part III: Jebel Milhan, Al Mahwit, Yemen
I rolled down the passenger window but immediately wished I hadn’t.
Dust and heat and oppressive humidity flooded into the car. Even after rolling the window back up, I watched moisture collect on the dashboard; tiny beads of water streamed down its peeling vinyl as the air conditioner struggled to kick back to life. Too sweltering to talk, there was nothing to do but wipe our foreheads with the backs of our hands and continue driving – lumbering on through the scorched, featureless plain.
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