Gilgit - Baltistan

Snow Leopard Cub rescued by local people in Khunjerav, Gojal Valley

PT Report

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.

The rescued cub inside a room
The rescued cub inside a room

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.

The cub can be seen gnawing at a piece of fresh meat provided by the local people
The cub can be seen gnawing at a piece of fresh meat provided by the local people

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 officials and local people with the cub
KVO officials and local people with the cub

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.

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  1. Nice to see KVO management with a rare snow leopard cup, congratulations for the successful rescue and achievement of the objectives of conservation. It shows commitment and dedication towards the protraction of wildlife. Kvo is always dedicated to protract all kind of species in the area and also community development. The government, National organizations and international organizations must provide more support to KVO to accomplish its projects in community development.

  2. Excellent KVO go ahead and develop the area with mutual coordination and collaboration of Government and NGOS. Some elements are here in Gilgit to trying to hunt human being which needs to be stopped and condemn by all well wishers of GB.
    On 12th December we lost many valuable lives of GBIANS. It is hoped Inshallah new year sun would rise with many messages of hopes of peace and safety of GBIANS as well as pakistan.
    Happy new years to all well wishers of GB and salute to all, working for peace and harmony of GB.

  3. Great effort KVO. You are always role model for communities interested in wildlife conservation. Chairmen has mentioned that, this is 3rd time KVO patrolling team has rescued Snow leopard in the buffered zone. I am afraid that Local administration, WWF, IUCN and other National international NGOs will come and prepare their reports, books, documentaries etc. They will defiantly replace the name KVO (Khunjarav Villagers Organization) with KNP (Khunjarav National Park) even they will not bother to mentions the territory Hunza or Gojal instead GB, and inform the world what they have achieved. This is fact as we saw in last two cases. Donners agencies and Govts will be pleased with their efforts because they believe in papers. Therefore my humble suggestion for KVO management is to please promote this achievement in National and International media and don’t allow these crocks to get the credits. Scientists believe that some 3,000 to 7,500 snow leopards roam across their vast range in Central and South Asia, in truth this figure is merely a “best guess” that could be far off the target but in KVO area you could easily find more then 200 at present.

  4. Heartiest congratulations to KVO and the people of Gojal for your wonderful act of kindness and care to the nature. It’s really rare occasion to have the cub of snow Leopard on the occasion of Happy New Year. No doubt, your actions speak louder than any words. The presence of the cub is the evidence that its mother happily lived in these areas.
    Few years ago we could only hear the stories, that long time ago such and such animals lived in these areas but now with your efforts all of us adults, our young generation and the wider world can enjoy the beauty and the rich biodiversity of our areas.

  5. It is not the first incidence in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), it happens quite often when a wild animal gets injured, orphaned or displaced. You may remember Leo, which was handed over to Bronx zoo with a view to be rehabilitated. Last year in another incidence an injured/diseased snow leopard was caught by locals in Skardu but we could not save its life.
    The problem we have in GB is the absence of a rescue/ rehabilitation centre for wild animals. In addition, require skills and expertise are also lacking in this part of the world. I wish, learning from the Leo’s experience a centre would have been established in GB to deal with such incidences.
    KVO’s efforts are worth-mentioning. Despite losing a large number of their precious livestock to snow leopard and other predator these people are still taking care of wild beasts….It is a question for all concerned people including myself, GB Wildlife Department, Bronx zoo, and everyone who are claimed to be conservationists..

    Muhammad Zafar Khan
    Gilgit, Pakistan

  6. I give my heartiest congratulations to team KVO and thanks the Wildlife Department of GB for providing the required facilities in this regard..
    There is no doubt that KVO has been a model community conservation not only at the national level rather internationally.

    I hope that this will add to the good name of the community and organisation.

    Abuzar Ali
    Former General Secretory,
    Khunjerav Villagers’ Organisation

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