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Rare Snow Leopard Captured In Afghanistan After Livestock Killings

Afghanistan’s wildlife authorities say the snow leopard will be released back into the wild.

Faizabad:

A rare snow leopard is being captured in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan and is preparing to be released back into the wild after reports of killing dozens of livestock, a conservation group said on Sunday.

An endangered animal was killed on Thursday night after being trapped in a livestock shed in Badakhshan province’s rural Jibak district, brutally killing about 30 animals, Abdulrahman Kasra, the region’s deputy governor, told AFP on Saturday. A leopard was reportedly captured.

He added that the juvenile leopard has been moved to the state capital Faizabad and is being held in the governor’s premises.

The head of Badakhshan’s Wildlife Conservation Association said veterinarians had treated the lynx for minor injuries to its legs and it would be released back into the wild.

“The authorities have promised us that they will soon bring the leopard back to the Zibak area,” Khorosh Sahel told AFP.

The mountainous region of northeastern Afghanistan is one of the few habitats of the elusive leopard, nicknamed the “mountain ghost.”

They are listed as an “endangered species” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and their numbers are decreasing due to the effects of climate change, habitat loss and poaching.

Experts warn that rising temperatures could cause tree lines to rise and farmers to move further into the mountains to plant crops and graze livestock, encroaching on snow leopard habitat. There is.

In a similar incident last year, around 40 livestock were reportedly killed by a snow leopard in Badakhshan province.

Farmers whose animals were killed on Thursday said they had asked the government for help as they lost their only source of income.

“Animals were the only asset I had to support my family,” Ganj Baig said.

Other Jibak residents told AFP they hoped authorities would carry out their plan to free the leopard.

“I hope that the Islamic emirate will do everything in its power to protect Badakhshan’s wildlife so that its natural heritage is protected and snow leopards do not disappear from the province,” resident Mir Saeed told AFP. .

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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