Scared residents inform wildlife department
A leopard strayed into a residential area in Abbottabad's Bakot on Thursday.
The big cat was seen sitting in a forest near a village.
The area residents said that the leopard has been visiting the area for the last three days. The wildlife department should capture the leopard and move the big cat, they remarked.
Some residents claimed that the leopard has attacked their domestic animals and injured one person.
On April 5, a man was reportedly killed and his friend injured in a leopard attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Battgram district.
Last month, villagers killed a three-year-old leopard in Abbottabad's Malkot village. Videos surfaced of villagers attacking the big cat with sticks, stones and stray dogs.
They residents claimed that the animal had injured a 65-year-old man.
The presence of leopards in Pakistan is known, but there is very little information on the distribution and number of subspecies. A 2018 research paper recorded 15 leopards, with the help of camera trappings, in Swat, Dir, and the Margalla Hills. The researchers noted that the residents and wildlife officials believed that the species had disappeared from the area.
Pakistan’s law does provide leopards protection, but regulations are poorly implemented.
While the percentage of people killed by leopards in Pakistan remains comparatively low, the beast arouses fear in most people. In the past, the western media has typecast people of Pakistan as being more scared of big cats than terrorists, while referring to Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011.
Fear, however, is a major reason why the population of the beast continues to decline. Every time, a common leopard slinks from the mountains into villages, the villagers kill the animal. Sometimes, the carnivore is targeted as part of ‘revenge killing’.
Leopards frequently attack and eat goats and domestic dogs. The owners of the goats and dogs then kill the beast in retaliation. This happens because the Pakistani government does not provide the people with any compensation after their animals are killed, WWF-Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem had told SAMAA Digital earlier. When compensation is provided, the process is very slow.
Sindh wildlife officer Ejaz explained that if a leopard or any other wild animal enters a village or a human habitat there are three things that should be done instead of killing it:
After these things, the residents should call the wildlife department, the officer added.