Saturday, April 22, 2006

Leopards in Pakistan on verge of extinction

Leopards in Pakistan on verge of extinction


Islamabad: Pakistanis conservationists have expressed fear that rising incidents of leopard hunting may put the big cats on the verge of extinction in Gallyat and Abbotabad.


Wassiur Rehman, co-ordinator of the Dubran Conservation Welfare Society said that over the last two years more than 20 leopards have been killed or captured. Only on April 14, a local shepherd killed a leopard that attacked his goats in Gallyat.


“The figures and reports of the past two years say that more than 20 leopards have been killed or captured,” the Daily Times quoted Rehman as saying.


He said, now only a few leopards were left in the wild and they too were being threatened and needed immediate attention and protection. This was unfortunately not possible in the present circumstances, he added.


Dr Mumtaz Malik, chief wildlife conservator, NWFP, said that now an estimated number of 20 to 50 leopards were left in Gallyat. The forest in Gallyat and the adjacent areas were the natural habitat of leopards and deforestation and human settlement in the area was bringing the men and the animals closer to each other, resulting in conflicts.


“This caused incidents of leopard-attacks on humans and their cattle and in retaliation, the cats were killed,” he said.


Dr. Malik further said that to protect the cat species, more staff had been recruited which had improved its protection.


“We have controlled leopard hunting in the area completely,” he said.

For the cats,


Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

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