It was a seriously depressing week for the animal world: rare animals were burned alive, killed in standoffs, sold on the black market, imprisoned in tiny keychains for tourists, shot by hunters, and covered in oil.
But there was a little bit of good news, too -- especially for the big cats of the world, who found new protections and saw tiny rises in their numbers.
Protection Mongolia's "Mountain Ghosts"
When there are as few as 3,500 members left of an endangered, and declining, animal species, especially one that lives in harsh conditions full of threats, killing just a few can do real damage. That's why environmentalists are cheering Mongolia's decision to rescind permits to hunt snow leopards
, rare and beautiful animals known as "mountain ghosts" due to their elusive nature.
Photo credit: Steve Winter and National Geographic