The Gobi, Mongolia – August 1, 2020 – Three Camel Lodge, an award-winning, sustainable-minded luxury lodge in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, has expanded its partnership with the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project to begin breeding at the Lodge.
Bankhar, a breed native to Mongolia, are prized for their protective instincts and for safeguarding the livestock of nomadic farmers. Systematically eliminated during Mongolia’s Communist rule because they were a source of Mongol pride, purebred bankhars have been scarce ever since.
The Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project has been working to reintroduce the breed to nomadic herders since 2011. The nonprofit breeds, raises, and places bankhar puppies with nomadic families to serve a dual purpose: repopulate a native breed and protect endangered species. Since snow leopards are often responsible for livestock attacks, farmers have traditionally retaliated by killing the endangered cats. Bankhars protect the livestock, and in turn, save the snow leopards from death. While there are approximately 6,500 snow leopards remaining in the world, 1,000 are in Mongolia.
Three Camel Lodge’s founder, Jalsa Urubshurow, has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Bruce Elfstrom, director of the nonprofit. “I’ve known Bruce and his work for over a decade and what he is doing to reintroduce the breed and protect snow leopards is nothing short of heroic,” says Jalsa Urubshurow. “We have been longtime supporters, but in 2015, we gained firsthand knowledge when we adopted Barbus. He has been a wonderful addition, not only as a friendly and furry guardian for our guests, but as a prime example of sustainability at work.”
Barbus’ arrival was also part of a larger plan to expand the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project’s scope. “We always knew we wanted to partner with Bruce and his team to offer a space for breeding bankhars here at the Lodge.” This year, Conoby joined Barbus at Three Camel Lodge, and breeding will commence this spring. “Together with Bruce’s team, we will place the puppies with local nomads,” explains Jalsa. “We are delighted to be a part of the future, both of the breed and big cat conversation, in Mongolia.”
About Three Camel Lodge
Set on the edge of Gobi Gurvansaikan National Park, Three Camel Lodge is an award-winning luxury adventure lodge. Comprised of 40 individual gers, or traditional nomadic dwellings, as well as a main lodge built to resemble a Buddhist temple, Three Camel Lodge offers an elevated take on the centuries-old nomadic lifestyle. Employing local builders, artisans, and makers, the Lodge celebrates the free-spirited, nature-based way of life.