A rare leopard that was shifted to Islamabad for treatment on Saturday after being found along the river Neelum, Azad Jammu and Kashmir in an injured condition died on Sunday.
It was revealed today that the female wildcat, that was earlier suspected of being hit by a speeding car, was actually shot down.
According to the wildlife management board, it was revealed during the medical examination that the endangered animal was hunted down, with the team recovering six cartridges of an LG rifle from her body.
The leopard was pierced with six bullets, her backbone was found to be broken and her lower part was completely paralysed. The doctors operated upon the animal but failed to save her life.
It was suspected that after being hit, it fell into a ditch near the bank of river Neelum in the Noseri area of Muzaffarabad, resulting in the injuries.
Locals had spotted the animal a day earlier between the stones and water, saying she was not able to move. "As we tried to get close to the leopard, we were shocked to see her legs paralysed, making it impossible for her to move," a local was quoted as saying.
He had also said that the people present at the scene also tried to feed the animal with chicken, but all in vain.
Another eyewitness Arshid Mir had described the wildcat as being terrified, with moist visible in her eyes as she saw people attempting to get close to her.
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