There are a lot of troubles facing endangered snow leopards in the Himalayan mountains that conservationists and others working to save the big cats can't really control -- habitat loss, poaching, and Yeti rampages, just to name a few. In the interest of lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness, though, Nepalese yak herders have decided to do something about one of the dangers to the cats: The herders themselves
, who are known to shoot the animals to protect the lives -- or avenge the deaths -- of the yaks they depend on for their livelihoods. To do so, they've pooled their resources and worked with the University of Zurich to create a yak insurance fund that covers the loss of livestock to snow leopards, preserving farmers ability to feed their families and offering less incentive to hunt down snow leopards
in the wake of the death of their yak, sheep, or goats.