I saw this extraordinary bird on the way to the mountain.
These flowers were everywhere, and I thought they were a wonderful infusion of color into the dry landscape, until I touched one and it drew blood:
I don’t think this picture does justice to the size of these enormous grasshopper.
These were my favorites, the mountain goats or ibexes. Their agility and sure-footedness on the most difficult of terrain is astonishing. This was two females with a kid between them:
While the above were my own photos, the following are from motion-sensing cameras that Turkish biologists set up in 2013 to examine the wildlife around Cudi after its 30 years of isolation. They found striped hyenas:
And more (or perhaps the same) mountain goats:
A couple of months later, a beautiful leopard was shot by a shepherd in nearby Diyarbakır province.
Locally, the Tigris River, which flows beneath Mt. Cudi, is said to have been given its name, the Latin word for “tiger,” because of the leopards that were once common around the upper reaches of this “Tiger River.” Apparently, they used the same caves, rough terrain, and remote location to stay clear of humanity as the guerrilla fighters now employ.