After Shahdara, leopards kill dozen animals in another village

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ISLAMABAD: The leopard family that was previously spotted in Shahdara village of the Federal Capital has extended its attacks to other nearby localities, killing over a dozen domesticated animals.

Sharafat Hussain, a resident of Choo Bangla said that he had a herd of animals out of which he had lost two mules and three goats in just a week, adding that he was keeping them under strict surveillance to avoid further loss. “Goat farming is my profession and the livelihood of my family. This financial loss is too heavy for me to recover from,” he added.

Irshad Ahmad, a barber residing in the same vicinity, said that his cow was hunted last Tuesday while three of his brother’s goats were also killed by the uncontrolled cats.

A butcher, Haseeb Ahmed, while sharing an identical story said that he had lost three goats to the cats but there was no remedy to protect their hard-earned property in sight.

Haseeb, who has three visually impaired brothers, expressed grave concern over their safety and asked the concerned authorities to provide a solution to the problem that is hampering their free mobility.

Further, the leopards, which residents think are more than three, also took two cows and two goats of Mungial village. The victims, Yasir Shah and Qasim Shah said that they were showing restraints to protect the endangered species and demanded the concerned authorities to relocate the leopards far from the population.

“We are losing our patience as more than five villages have sacrificed their precious livestock. Many of the victims are so poor that they cannot afford to purchase new animals,” he lamented.

It is pertinent to mention here that the residents of Shahdara have recently raised their voice against the unprecedented loss of their livestock caused by the big cats. A number of national and international electronic and print media teams visited the affectees and raised their concern to wildlife authorities but they were simply ignored.

When contacted, an official of Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) Sakhawat Hussain said that leopards do not enter in the human settlements normally, but the shrinking of wildlife habitat and the paucity of prey animals in the forest are major reasons of the big cat’s hunting pet animals.

He admitted to receiving complaints from villagers seeking indemnity against the leopard’s attacks but he regretted that the IWMB had no compensation fund to redress their concerns.

“The compensation will help protect rare and exotic wildlife, and the community must be involved to create awareness, otherwise in a fit of rage in Shahdara like incidents, the people will kill leopards that already come under endangered species in Pakistan, ” Sakhawat said.