Killer leopard conundrum: Captive big cat’s future still uncertain

Officials could choose to send the big cat to a zoo or to Hazara University, where animal sciences are taught.


Our Correspondent March 13, 2012

ABBOTABAD:


Away from its natural habitat, the fate of a leopard caged in the local wildlife department office still hangs in the balance as officials have yet to decide what to do with him, The Express Tribune learnt on Tuesday.


After killing two children, injuring at least three people and eating several cattle head worth Rs2 million in the forests of Baren
Gali last year, the leopard that carried a Rs10,000 bounty, was trapped while chasing a dog.

The wild cat was later sedated and shifted to the divisional wildlife office on November 27.

Leopards are found in the forests of Margalla, Kaghan, Galyat and Swat. This big cat is a male, over 10 years of age and about 7.5 feet long, including the tail, the official said, adding that there are still over 80 leopards in Galyat.

Sources said that the animal, stressed by unfamiliar surroundings, managed to injure himself thrice after getting annoyed by the stream of visitors from the neighbouring localities coming to see the killer cat.

“My children go there to see the roaring leopard almost daily. They are fascinated to see a killer wild cat,” said Naseer Khan, a resident of Kakul Road.

A wildlife department official confirmed that the leopard’s jaw, tongue and tail were badly injured during his stay at their office, but claimed it had fully recovered. He also said that feeding the leopard is costing the department around Rs15,000 per month.

In reply to a question, the source said that the cat was safe and his health was improving.

He said that releasing the leopard in the jungle was not on the cards, but officials could choose to send the big cat to a zoo or to Hazara University, where animal sciences are taught.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly carried a picture of a snow leopard, which has now been changed. 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2012.

COMMENTS (16)

MarkH | 9 years ago | Reply

An animal acted like an animal. Who could have seen that coming? Yeah, the deaths are tragic. Most also won't say it like it is because of the children part of it. But this is one of those things where it's a tragedy, it stays a tragedy and there's no bright side even if you look your hardest. It's one of those situations where you can blame the victim but you simply don't want to because it sounds terrible. But that doesn't mean the animal did anything wrong by the laws of nature.

Pakistan politics | 9 years ago | Reply

Picture is not correct ET

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