Chitral: Recently, a rare breed of injured snow leopard was caught by local youths in Rabat village of Arkari Gol Valley, Chitral when it fell from a hill into the jungle.
Local man saw the snow leopard walking around in an injured condition and immediately caught it and took it to his house and made proper arrangements including giving it a first aid and informed the wildlife department officials.
Later, the local committee for protection and the concerned department medical-aided the leopard while taking in their custody.
Shafiqullah Khan, regional project manager of the Snow Leopard Foundation, an NGO working to protect snow leopards in Chitral, told local media that the backbone of the snow leopard is injured while it has suffered serious injuries. Due to the paralysis, the snow leopard may have fallen from a great height and may have been chasing a target.
The incident took place on Saturday morning in Rabat village of Arkari valley in Chitral, where locals conducted an initial rescue operation and informed the wildlife department. Reaching the remote and mountainous villages of Chitral, the wildlife department personnel by evening took the leopard under their protection. According to the medical staff, the snow leopard has fallen from a height of several feet due to which the spinal cord has been injured. The snow leopard is unable to walk due to injuries.
According to Dr Sheikh Ahmed, Senior Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Hospital, Chitral, the snow leopard is 4 years old and is female. The back of the snow leopard has also lost its fur due to injuries. After an initial examination at the Veterinary Hospital Chitral, the injured snow leopard has been shifted to Peshawar for further medical facilities.
The district administration commended the wildlife and local volunteers for timely rescuing the leopard and said that we all have to work together for the protection and survival of the rare animals. He also confirmed that the injured snow leopard has been shifted to Peshawar for further treatment at the suggestion of a veterinarian from Chitral.
The snow leopard belongs to a group of animals that live at high altitudes and nest at negative temperatures. On snow-capped peaks, they hunt for food. Sometimes due to lack of food, this animal moves towards the population and attacks the livestock. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Chitral District and the administrative province of Gilgit-Baltistan are considered to be home to the snow leopards, where this rare and valuable animal spends its time on icy peaks.
For the reason mentioned, that’s why people in these areas often see the snow leopard with their own eyes, while some NGOs have also installed hidden cameras on the upper areas and peaks to protect their movements.
According to a study, only 36 snow leopards have been recorded in Chitral, which shows that the snow leopard is one of the rarest animals and more needs to be done for its protection and survival.
Organizations working for the protection of rare animals have appreciated the efforts of the people of Chitral to protect the snow leopard and said that through this process the people of Chitral have proved that they have awareness about rare and valuable animals. Are found and work to protect these animals.
Meanwhile, local soldiers from Chitral have demanded that the snow leopard, after a complete cure, be released back to its natural habitat, the village of Rabat in Chitral, and that it not be sacrificed in a zoo cage.
A special report curated for GNN Web by Fahim Akhtar.