Monday, April 16, 2012

Snow leopard shot dead by villagers in Kashmir‎

MIRPUR (AJK): A scared cat climbs up a tree, is spotted by an innocent child and consequently rescued by local heroes – an anecdote of human compassion often narrated in children’s books.

However, in the remote town of Rawalkot in Azad Kashmir, when a snow leopard, an endangered species, climbed up a tree in fear, the villagers shot it down.

Kashmir is home to two of the world’s big cats, the common leopard (Panthera pardus) and the snow leopard (Uncia uncia), a cat so secretive few have been privileged enough to get a glimpse of it in the wild.

A businessman of the area, Waseem Khursheed, is a witness to the killing. “A snow leopard climbed up a tree and remained there for eight hours in the town of Banjosa, some 18 kilometres from Rawalkot.”

Locals informed Deputy Commissioner Sohail Azam about the animal which had left its habitat and ventured near the settled areas. The deputy commissioner asked the villagers to scare the leopard through firecrackers, but finding the steps inadequate, they decided to kill it instead. Read More