Gilgit: The Chief Secretary (CS), Gilgit-Baltistan inaugurated the Snow Leopard Rehabilitation & Quarantine Center, Naltar on November 03, 2016. The event was attended by the administrative heads of various government departments, district administrators, officials of the law enforcing agencies, technical heads and senior officers of the forest and wildlife department, representatives of NGOs and elites of the local community.
The Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) Pakistan established a world-class Rehabilitation & Quarantine Center at Naltar Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan to rehabilitate a bereft snow leopard captured in the periphery of Khunjerab National Park (KNP) on December 30, 2012. This orphaned cub endured four and half years of her life in a small enclosure set alongside the highway at the entrance of KNP in a stressful condition before shifting to her new home at Naltar on October 02, 2016.
The Chief Secretary visited different portions of the facility and glimpsed the snow leopard. Mr. Jaffar Ud Din, Assistant Director, SLF and Conservator Wildlife & Parks Department, GB briefed the CS on the facility and feeding of snow leopard.
This was followed by an inclusive briefing session which started with the recitation of few verses from the Holey Quran. Mr. Sajjad Haidar, Secretary Forest, Wildlife and Environment, GB welcomed the Chief Guest and other participants and highlighted the need and importance of the rehab center. He thanked SLF and its collaborators for all the prudent technical and financial support extended to develop this state-of-the-art facility and safe shifting of snow leopard. This facility is one of its kinds in the country and has relieved the stress that the snow leopard was having in her makeshift home.
Next, Mr. Jaffar Ud Din narrated about the background and mode of execution of the project. The SLF developed layout of the facility, raised funds, oversaw project implementation, developed capacity of the Wildlife Department staff in managing the facility and facilitated the transfer of snow leopard, he added.
The CS in his speech said that decline of wildlife species are due to anthropogenic activities. Conservation of wildlife and other components of biodiversity is our religious, moral and social responsibility and I feel privileged to be here and inaugurate such an important project. He applauded the efforts of SLF and its collaborators in making this much needed project a reality and said that SLF will continue its efforts of conservation of iconic fauna of the region.
Mr. Ghulam Muhammad, Conservator, Wildlife and Parks Department, GB in his concluding remarks, thanked the honorable chief guest and other participants for making it convenient to attend the event and SLF team for successful implementation of the project. The event wrapped up with refreshment served to participants. PR