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Leopard kills young man in Battgram reserved forests

BATTAGRAM: A young man was killed by a common leopard in a remote area of Battgram district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday.

According to the wildlife department officials, the victim identified as a 30-year-old youth Tale Zar, son of Mehmood Shah, a resident of Donga along with his friend was searching for natural mushrooms in a nearby forest when they were attacked by the wild animal which left one dead while another escaped unhurt.

The officials further said that amid rising cases of human-wildlife conflicts the administration is coordinating with the relevant department and joint planning is being devised to stop such incidents.

K-P Wildlife Chief Conservator Dr Muhsin Farooq said they have recommended the compensation for the victim’s family and “now it is the prerogative of the disaster management and district administration to release the amount”.

Earlier, two people sustained severe injuries when a leopard assaulted them in a suburb of Murree. According to sources, a ferocious leopard attacked two people, traveling on a motorcycle, in the Kaldina suburban area of the Muree. As a result, they suffered serious injuries.

The injured were identified as Murad Ali, a resident of the Sindhian village, and Muddasir Abbasi, a resident of Satra Meel.

Receiving information about the incident, local people reached the scene and shifted both injured to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital for treatment. On Jan 15, 202 villagers had shot dead a snow leopard after it attacked a residential area and injured a man.

Sources had informed the wild cat was killed after it injured a man in Sar Banda, Swat. Locals said the leopard ate many animals and had also injured several villagers.

WWF officials said that this rare species plays a key role as both a top predator and an indicator of the health of the high altitude habitat. Snow leopards are mostly found in mountainous areas of Pakistan’s northern areas including Gilgit-Baltistan.

Wildlife experts have expressed concern over an alarming decline in the population of snow leopards in Pakistan, citing climate change and lack of eco-friendly tourism as the leading factors behind threats to the species.

Snow leopard’s favored prey is herbivores, such as blue sheep, Argali sheep and ibex. In many areas, snow leopards also prey on livestock, bringing them into conflict with herders.