The last thing Babar Afzal remembers before he lost consciousness was sprinting across a Himalayan plateau wielding a Swiss-army knife, trying to save a herd of goats from being eaten by snow leopards.
Bloomberg News reports that as his oxygen-starved brain at 14,000 feet (4,300 meters) sent crippling pain down his spine before he blacked out, the former McKinsey & Co. analyst says he had a moment of clarity: This place could really use an ambulance.
That was a year ago, when the nomadic shepherds of Indian Kashmir saved him and lost 35 of their flock. This year, Afzal plans to go back to the pass near the country’s borders with Pakistan and China and see if he can get the goats to pay for that ambulance.
They are no ordinary goats. The shaggy, wide-horned beasts produce pashmina, the finest cashmere, a silky soft cloth that can fetch as much as $200,000 for a shawl in the boutiques of Paris and New York. Most of that mark-up goes to a long chain of buyers, weavers, traders, middlemen and wholesalers. The goatherds get $40 per kilogram of raw wool, less if they’re offered meat or cloth as compensation.
To access the complete Bloomberg News article hit the link below: