A leopard cub rescued from a village of Gidarpur forest range has been registered as a family member of a pair of leopards already caged in Dhodiyal Peasantry.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on Friday, Mansehra Subdivisional Wildlife Officer Khursheed Abbasi the decision was taken in view of the fact that the cub belong to the same subspecies as the leopards and was caught in the same way.
“The peasantry already has two leopards – male and leopard,” he said. “The male was caught from Kanshiyan forest in 2007 while the female was caught from Bandi Maira. The pair does not have a cub.”
According to Abbasi, the cub is healthier than the other two leopards and could help increase the population of leopards.
The cub was seized from a remote village on Thursday. The wildlife authorities had received information about a leopard cub being poached by some villagers in the area of Gidarpur.
Officials subsequently led a raid Wednesday night in the forest range. The subdivisional wildlife officer then received an anonymous phone call that the cub was fastened with a rope in the bushes near Forest Range Quarter. She was then rescued and shifted to Dhodiyal Peasantry.
Call of the wild
Responding to a question, Abbasi said there were gangs of poachers who were always on the lookout for leopard cubs and bears.
“However, people have gradually realised the importance of wildlife preservation,” he said. “Whenever an animal is being poached, they inform the relevant authorities.”
According to Abbasi, the wildlife department and NGOs are making concerted efforts to prevent leopards from becoming extinct.
“Leopards attack people and animals,” he said. “And yet, no one is willing to breach laws which prohibit people from killing wildlife. The laws are proving quite beneficial.”
About the existing population of leopards in Hazara, Abbasi said there are about ten pairs of leopards in Kaghan Valley and 28 in Galiyat Valley.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.
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