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Snow leopard mauls 8-year-old boy to death in Galiyat

Updated March 19, 2019

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Wildlife experts have expressed concern over an alarming decline in the population of snow leopards in Pakistan. —Photo courtesy: Paul Sangeorzan.
Wildlife experts have expressed concern over an alarming decline in the population of snow leopards in Pakistan. —Photo courtesy: Paul Sangeorzan.

Listed as a vulnerable species globally, a snow leopard mauled a minor boy to death in Galiyat region of Abbottabad district, it emerged on Tuesday.

Eight-year-old Sufiyan, a resident of Chanati village in Namli Mira was playing outside his home on Monday when he was attacked by the leopard, a police source told Dawn.

The child's mutilated body was recovered late night from a nearby ravine, locals said. His funeral prayers were held in the afternoon today and were attended by a large number of people.

Read: Saving the elusive snow leopard

Sardar Muhammad Iqbal, a local resident while talking to reporters demanded that the wildlife department should monitor the movement of snow leopards in the area to prevent loss of human lives.

He noted that because the region had received an unprecedented amount of snowfall this winter, the big cat family had come down to the thickly populated areas of Galiyat where they were damaging the residents' properties and causing harm to the public and their animals.

Iqbal said cameras should be installed in the area to monitor the snow leopards' movements for the protection of lives of schoolgoing children and women.

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

There are only 11 countries in the world other than Pakistan where snow leopards are found.

At present, between 4,500 and 7,500 snow leopards exist across the world and in Pakistan, according to previous estimates, between 320 and 400 snow leopards were found in the Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindukush mountain ranges.