Snow leopard dies in Peshawar Zoo

Listed as vulnerable species in the world, a snow leopard died in Peshawar Zoo on Thursday, officials said.

However, the reason for the 10-year-old big cat’s death is not known.

The snow leopard was brought to the newly-established zoo from Ayubia National Park in Abbottabad district.

It was found dead in its enclosure amid plans of its shifting back to the national park cage.

Expressing concern about the death, a representative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said the snow leopard might have died due to the warming weather and poor habitat.

“The question is whether the zoo’s environment and weather was suitable for the survival of snow leopard, he said, adding that the species of the high-altitude areas could not survive in plain and hot areas like Peshawar.

A source said officials of the Gilgit-Baltistan government were hoping to pair the male snow leopard from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the lone female leopard it had kept.

“The news of the untimely death of the big wild cat will be a huge disappointment to the GB government,” he said.

Director of the Snow Leopard Foundation Pakistan Dr Ali Nawaz termed the death of snow leopard in Peshawar Zoo very unfortunate and said it might have died of mismanagement.

Also the Pakistan Programme Director for the Snow Leopard Trust, he said Peshawar’s environment was not fit for snow leopards.

“Snow leopard can hardly survive in temperature above 15 degree Celsius,” he said.

Dr Ali Nawaz said it seemed that the snow leopard was not provided required environment and facilities, which resulted in its death.

He said international guidelines for zoo management should be applied properly.

The Meteorological Department, Peshawar office, said the maximum and minimum temperatures recorded in the city on Thursday were 26 degree Celsius and 11 degree Celsius.

Article originally published at DAWN

Pictures courtesy: Snow Leopard Conservancy

by admin

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