Conservationists all over the world are cheering the discovery of what appears to be a thriving colony of Snow Leopards in a remote mountainous area of Afghanistan.

Strategically placed cameras captured images of 30 of the elusive cats in 16 different locations within a narrow 220-mile strip called the Wakhan Corridor that lies in the northeastern mountains of the country.

Similar to their cousins that live on lower altitudes, these beautiful cats that are native to Central Asia have suffered huge declines in population thanks to poachers who kill them for their fur and shepherds, trying to protect their cattle. The Wildlife Conservation Society estimates that there are only between 4,500 to 7,500 of them left in the wild - The discovery of this thriving colony was therefore, a very pleasant and welcoming surprise.

The society plans to do whatever is necessary to protect these graceful animals to ensure they do not disappear from the face of the Earth. While use of remote cameras has become commonplace in many parts of the world, this is the first time they have been used in Afghanistan - We wonder what other surprises they will uncover.