Sick snow leopard captured by villagers in Skardu, dies

A villager is seen capturing the visibly weak and drenched snow leopard. Image: Ali

PT Report

Islamabad, February 27: Villagers in Skardu captured a sick snow leopard and handed it over to officials of the Wildlife Department.

According to details, a snow leopard stranded into the Manthal village, located near Skardu, capital of the Baltistan Division. A group of villagers gathered to capture the beast and after a lot of struggle they were able to control it.

According to Ghulam Muhammad, an eye witness, the villagers initially refused to handover the Snow Leopard to officials of the Wildlife Department because their cattle had gotten killed by the beast in the past. The villagers suspected that it was the same beast and demanded compensation for their loss from the government officials.

The Wildlife department officials, however, managed to convince the villagers to handover the snow leopard to them, because they wanted to save its life.

The District Forest Officer (DFO) promised to the people that their demands will be forwarded to the higher authorities for consideration. The villagers also gave a written document of their demand to the officials for due consideration.

Ghulam Muhammad told Pamir Times that the Snow Leopard may have been a victim of some skin disease, as confirmed by a veterinary doctor and the a Deputy Director of the Animal Husbandry department. A proper report in this regard is being prepared.

The Snow Leopard, weak as it was, reportedly died in custody of the Wildlife Department. Reportedly, there were no signs of injury on body of the snow leopard.

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  1. According to the express Tribune on Monday, villagers allegedly killed rare snow leopard by beating it to death, story by Shabbier Mir who also belong to GB, now this story show NGOs / wild life department of GB, which are working in the GB for last many years are completely unsuccessful providing protection to this precious animal, where as millions of rupees are spend for different awareness activities for conservation of environment.

  2. What measures is the Wildlife Department enacting to educate villagers about the value in protecting endangered species such as snow leopards in Menthal, Skardu district? Did any authorities initiate an investigation and issue a report as to why and how the villagers captured the roaming, or sick, or possibly starving, snow leopard nearby Menthal village?

    The snow leopard breeding season usually lasts from January–May. It is evident from the physical appearance of this female snow leopard that she was very weak and powerless. The Wildlife Department and NGOs should have searched immediately for the offspring (babies) of this female snow leopard, who understandably was searching for easy prey to feed her newborn babies in the vicinity of the Menthal Mountains, Skardu.

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