Tuesday, 1 March 2011

at the bottom of the garden

In recent weeks there has been a marked increase in the number of animals in our garden, I say garden, the grounds of our rather lovely ex-Politburo apartments total some 500 acres.

As the winter marches on herds of animals have moved nearer Ulaanbaatar to escape from the Steppe and surrounding mountains. Looking out of my bedroom window in the morning there are generally three options: goats, wild horses or big hairy cows.

Other creature residents include woodpeckers, marmottes, wild dogs (some rabid), the odd cat, Steppe eagles and more carrion than you can find pellets to kill. No sign of any wolves yet. Similarly the bears and snow leopards are staying away for the time being.

The animal visits serve to remind just how much more difficult life is further away from Ulaanbaatar. This year has been relatively soft compared to recent years. Not sure how I would have coped last year in -50C when some 30% of animals in Mongolia died; oddly enough nobody ever reported what % of the Mongolian people moved on...

If wild horses and dogs can't survive what hope for humans?

Mongolian of the day:- animal :: aimtan