A sick snow leopard, found on Saturday and later handed over to the Wildlife Department, died on Tuesday. The sick animal had been found by a group of villagers near Manthal Village, 3 kilometres from Skardu.
Initially, they refused to hand it over to the Wildlife Department because their cattle had been killed by snow leopards. They suspected that the sick animal was to be blamed and demanded compensation for their loss. However Wildlife Department and WWF officials managed to convince the villagers to handover the snow leopard after promising to forward a written list of demands presented by them to the higher authorities for consideration.
Veterinary doctors and the Deputy Director of the Animal Husbandry department confirmed that the snow leopard had mange (skin disease), general weakness and pneumonia, though there were no signs of external injury on its body. The snow leopard reportedly died in the custody of the department on Tuesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2011.
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