February 6, 2008

Snow May Kill Record Numbers of Pashmina Goats

An unexpected heavy snowfall in the Ladakh region of India may mean the death of around 90,000 Pashmina goats.

These goats are facing a shortage of food, according to Tsering Dorjay, a government official in Ladakh. These goats typically survive on the grass in Ladakh, but with the temperatures at -29 degrees Fahrenheit and such heavy snowfall, they are not expected to survive much longer.

The government provisions of winter food have been consumed already, and Dorjay said, "We have requested the army to airdrop fodder into the areas which are cut off due to unexpected heavy snowfall.

These goats have a warm, thick, fleece coat which provides fine wool for Pashmina shawls which are exported worldwide. These shawls have become increasingly popular since the ban on shahtoosh, fine wool derived from the hair of an endangered Tibetan antelope.