50 cattle killed by snow leopard in Khunzhrav

By Sultan Ahmed

Khunzhrav (misspelled as Khunjrab), November 20, 2010: The big cat (Snow Leopard) has killed over dozen sheep and goats belonging to Mirza Muhammad of Moorkhun village, in Gojal Valley.

According to reports the beast attacked at night and killed the sheeps and goats without facing resistance from anyone.

Locals are aware that killing of the beast is legally prohibited, because of the animal’s endangered status and because it is protected under the Snow Leopard Conservation Project.

While appreciating the need not to kill the Snow Leopard, the locals are worried about the safety of their cattle, which are the major means of livelihood for many families.

Whether the cattle were attacked by one or more Snow Leopards is unclear

In the past similar incidents of cattle being killed by a Snow Leopard have occured but the farmers have not been compensated by the government or other relevant organizations.

There is a fear that the locals might resort to killing of the endangered animal to save their cattle. In order to stop this from happening, it is important that the national and international organizations devise proper compensation plans for the affected farmers.

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  1. the Govt. should Compensate those peoples, otherwise the beast [snow Leopards] will be Killed……


    In our 4 years of working and documenting Snow Leopards with the BBC we came across a few kills but we know from our first hand experience that Snow Leopards shy away from large animals and generally go for easier prey like sheep and goats etc.

    A few times attacks that were attributed to Snow Leopards actually came from Wolves and to the untrained eye the paw prints of Wolves are frequently mistaken for those of Snow Leopards. A pack of Wolves could easily attack 50 Cattle – but it is rare for any predator to kill 50 cattle in one go!

    The only time we had conclusive proof was when a Snow Leopard fell into a room full of sheep and goats and attacked and killed 8 and injured another 6. It ate only one and that too one leg and some of its belly.

    Having said this we cannot say for sure that they do not attack cattle. The thought that one or even two Snow Leopards could attack and kill 50 cattle would be quite a unique situation!

    We would be very interested in finding out if more information could be provided on the exact nature of the attacks:

    1. Were there any paw prints
    2. How were the cattle attacked .. from behind, on the back, around the stomach? Were there teeth marks and claw marks on the carcasses? Any pictures? If the carcasses are still around – can a few pictures be taken?
    3. Were the cattle eaten – how much and how were they eaten
    4. Any other facts related to the attacks – any past sightings or attacks.
    5. Could we be given an exact location reference.
    6. Were the cattle in the open or in a pen?

    We would like to find out the facts and if it is conclusive that these cattle were attacked by Snow Leopards. This information may go a long way in helping us understand such attacks and also help farmers in future. We would also bring our influence to bear on individuals and organizations to look into the matter as well.

    Snow Leopards are endangered and they must be protected, however the locals also have rights and we must find ways to ease the conflicts that are there and will grow in the future, as humans and animals come closer into each others habitat.

    We invite Pamir Times to send a reporter to do a research report and we would be happy to fund the assignment, subject to PT getting in-touch with us.

    Very best wishes and kind regards,

    Nisar Malik

  3. govt must give the Full compensations for this loss caused to the person and owners of this cattle. Mr.Mirza mohamad must get its componseatons for the loss of its huge nos of cattles and sheeps…Otherwise.. this kind of affects from all these wild beast will be shooted for the same reasons by the farmemers to protects its safety for animals and safety for human lossess in the future..
    All wildlife and Govt authority are requested to do the needful in giving the full compansations for the losess inccured.

    Hope our NGOs and govt agency will do their best in protecting the rights of the farmers from Hunza Gojal and Gilgit ,baltistan at large.
    Thanking You.

  4. It would make me wonder that one Snow-Leopard would kill 50 animals at a time… would be interesting if the investigation like Nisar Malik proposed could be carried out.

  5. @K.D WAKHI-TAJIK why you asking to the govt .I think we should ask the NGO (Snow leopard conservancy) to help Mr Mirza Mohammed or take all our snow leopards to USA as they have taken one. Hope this NGO is there for Real.

  6. Well, if killing of leopard is prohibited, then it should also refrain from killing the cattle belonging to the local people. It seems the beast has deliberately done this, otherwise what is the logic in killing 50 at a time when one sheep or goat can be enough for the dinner of the beast. The beast also seems to be very trained (SSG)as in one go it could dump 50 animals. The animals did not put up any resistance due to unknown reasons and those which survived are not willing to share any details. One of the survivors on condition of anonymity, told this scribe that the cattle is like a nation, if there is no leader (Shepherd), destruction and death is imminent.

  7. Reference to Mr. Nasir Malik query regarding the details of this incident, I would like to suggest Mr. Malik to contact Mr. KarimUllah Khan, Coordinator Snow Leopard Conservancy project Khunjerav Valley through email:, Mobile No. 03129732691, He is actively involved in this issue

  8. Thank you very much for your suggestion Mr. Hussain. We are getting in touch with Mr. Khan and hope to get to the bottom of this issue.

    Best wishes and kind regards,

    Nisar Malik

  9. Thanks Taj for providing the contact person who had given me the details as well as the pictures when we were traveling in the boat in Gojal. Karim was heading to Islamabad and must be in mobile range. It is good to contact him.

    @Immaculate dream: Beasts are not trained by human beings that is why they are beasts. We have heard stories from our parents that when snow leopard finds the prey in great number, it tries to kill as much as possible because that is the nature of this animal. It is not like human beings who slaughter one at a time and then keep the meat in fridge and wait for another until the stock is over.

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