Villagers in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) killed another leopard in self-defence, highlighting the lack of arrangements for wildlife conservation by the AJK State Wildlife and Fisheries Department.
Eyewitnesses confirmed that a male leopard was shot in Bhimber district’s Kass Khadora village on Sunday morning. Villagers in Rawalakot district had shot dead another leopard eight months ago.
According to local freelance journalist Sajjad Jiraal, the village had been terrorised by a male and a female leopard over the past few days.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Jiraal said the leopards were believed to have come from thick forests on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) in search of prey. Jiraal confirmed that the male leopard was shot dead during the attempt to capture the two, adding that the female managed to flee.
A Wildlife and Fisheries Department team, led by Deputy Director Chaudhry Razaq Ahmed, rushed to the village following the incident. While he described the leopard killing as an unlawful action on the villagers’ part, he did not state what measures his department proposed to take in order to ensure the safety of wildlife in AJK.
The Express Tribune tried contacting senior department officials, including the aforementioned deputy director, but to no avail.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2012.
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