Gilgit, December 31: In a daring act of kindness and care, people associated with the Khunjerav Villagers’ Organization (KVO) rescued a Snow Leopard cub during a routine patrol in the KVO Community Conservation Area, with the assistance of GB Wildlife Department officials.
According to details shared with the press by Rehman Posh, KVO’s Chairman, the cub was trying to cross the Khunjerav (misspelled as Khunjerab in official documents) River following its mother but got stranded and returned to the river bank, which is covered with snow and ice.
The patrolling team saw the female in the area and crossed the Khunjerav River to rescue the cub, which had gotten stranded, unable to follow its mother into the wild.
KVO officially informed Mr. Willayat Noor, Conservator Wildlife and Parks Gilgit-Baltistan about the rescue incident and he has promised to send a team of experts to Sost, 8 hours away from Gilgit.
KVO has arranged food and spared a room for the cub, leaving it under the watch of a Warden.
It is pertinent to note that this is legal trophy hunting season in Gilgit-Baltistan and the community representatives are fully involved in monitoring of wildlife in the community conservation area. The population of Snow Leopard in the KVO Community Conservation area has increased in few years which every year kill many livestock of poor people even in the villages.
KVO was established in 1989 in the upper Gojal valley by Avgarchicks after the inception of AKRSP in Gilgit-Baltistan and after realizing the importance of wildlife of the area. It is registered under the company act with the Government of Pakistan which works for the conservation of the wildlife and local community development. This is third time KVO community has rescued Snow Leopard cub, One Snow Leopard was released with help of WWF-Pakistan which was telecast on the CNN in 1998. The other, its name is Leo is now in the Trans Zoo, USA.
KVO has completed many projects in community development with different national and multinational NGOs, i.e. WWF, IUCN, UNDP, AKRSP, MACP and GoP.