The Last Nomad
The hump-nosed saiga antelope of the Russian and Central Asian steppe may soon disappear.
"I strain my eyes over the flat, endless plain of Russia's southern Republic of Kalmykia, blinking as the horizon melts into a delusional mirage. There is not so much as a tree, bush, or hill as far as I can see. Wait ... something. A cloud or red dust several hundred yards away. Through my binoculars, I see a brown ribbon of, perhaps, a hundred saiga antelope reeling away. The herd flows like water across the parched terrain, once the bed of a shrunken Caspian Sea. In an instant the animals drift out of sight. Only the red dust lingers ......"