When I first saw a sign for the sanctuary – created very artistically – I could not believe what I was seeing. I decided to follow my curiosity, but it only led me to a series of more signs till I nearly out of town. I was beginning to wonder if someone was making an ‘ass’ out of me. But eventually I did find it just off the road leading to Khardungla Pass (the highest motorable road in the world at 18,380 feet).
Friendly signs greeted me – I have never seen so much respect for these animals – at the sanctuary, looked after by caretaker Padma Dorje. He told me the same was opened to public only in the first week of July 2008 (that’s a few days before I paid a visit) and is primarily funded by a South African photojournalist Joanne Lefson; the local affairs are looked after by Stany Wangchuk, who works with a travel company. Permission from the local officials to open this sanctuary was received only a short while before it was opened.
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