Srinagar: Thousands of goats that provide fine wool for Kashmir's famous Pashmina shawls are facing death because of heavy snow in the mountainous Ladakh region, officials said on Wednesday.
Nearly 1 lakh Pashmina goats have been affected by a shortage of food because winter pastures near the Chinese border have been covered after unexpected heavy snowfall.
"Over 90,000 goats are facing shortage of food and many of them will die if fodder cannot be provided immediately," said a government official, Tsering Dorjay, in Ladakh.
SNOWY DEATH: Thousands of Pashmina wool-providing goats are facing death because of heavy snow. (REUTERS/Kamal Kishore)
Pashmina goats, which grow a thick warm fleece, survive on grass in Ladakh where temperatures plunge to as low as minus 20 degrees celsius.
Local newspapers reported stocks of winter fodder provided by the government had already been exhausted.
"We have requested the army to air-drop fodder into areas which are cut off due to unexpected heavy snowfall," Dorjay said.
After a ban on shahtoosh, the world's finest wool derived from the hair of an endangered Tibetan antelope, shawls made from Pashmina wool are considered some of the world's finest and are exported worldwide.