ABOTTABAD: The wildlife authorities have finally succeeded in capturing a leopard that killed two children and several cattle in the Galiyat region of Abbottabad District. The department had announced a Rs10,000 reward for trapping the big cat.
Official sources said that after it killed two children and cattle worth Rs2 million in the forest area of Baren Gali, wildlife authorities placed traps in the areas where the animal used to hunt frequently, but could not succeed despite several attempts. However on Saturday evening, the leopard appeared from the bushes and was trapped while chasing a dog, officials said. The cat was later sedated and shifted to the divisional wildlife officer’s office, from where it will be sent to a zoo.
According to Muhammad Hanif Khan, a wildlife official, the leopard was an endangered specie known as panthra pardus, which is found in the forest areas of Margalla, Kaghan, Galyat and Swat.
They estimate its age to be more than 10 years, while its length excluding the tail is stated to be around seven feet and eight inches. The head size of the leopard is estimated to be around one feet, while its claws are around six inches long.
The official said that there are more than 80 leopards still in the Galyat range. The official said that the animal had started attacking children when it got older and found it difficult to hunt bigger prey, as young leopards prefer to prey on monkeys, dogs and other animals.
The leopard killed Sohail, 9, in Mohalla Dabb Baren Gali on November 12 and Tahira Bibi, 12, on November 18 in Kalas village in the Thandiayani range, and according to local people, in the last one year it has killed cattle worth Rs2 million in the Galyat region alone.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2011.