ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has registered a first information report (FIR) after a dead common leopard was found with nearly a dozen bullets in its body.
The case was registered with the Bhara Kahu police station. Calling it bizarre, chairperson of IWMB Rina Saeed Khan told Dawn that the case was being investigated.
The dead leopard was found in the area beyond Qauid-i-Azam University, near the border of Haripur District, Punjab, in the extreme corner of the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP), where IWMB does not have patrolling staff.
The area was nonetheless, on the radar, especially after reports of hunting activities there. IWMB found hideouts, built by hunters near a pond/reservoir, where shooters would wait for wild animals to come to them.
IWMB chairperson says investigation is being carried out
According to Ms Khan, no leopards were found in that area after a camera trap study was carried out two years ago. “The fact that a young leopard was roaming in the area was evidence that wildlife was prospering there,” she added.
Another camera trap study was being planned to confirm the claim, she said.
Nonetheless, IWMB park rangers recovered the dead leopard and shifted it to the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre of IWMB for further examination.
During initial examination of the dead body, it was noted that the tail, legs and jaws were missing.
An x-ray report showed presence of 11 bullets in the dead body. “The quills of an Indian porcupine were embedded in the body to detract concerns regarding cause of the death,” IWMB said in its report.
According to section 5, Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Ordinance, 1979, in which no person shall hunt, kill or capture wild animals. The common leopard came under the third schedule (protected animals) in which hunting/killing of any, wildlife animal is an illegal act.
This was the second time a dead leopard was found since the year began. Earlier, a dead common leopard was found in MHNP, with a hole in its skull.
Another leopard was rescued from a residential area last month and released into its natural habitat.
Ms Khan said that a post was now being built for park rangers for continuous monitoring of the area and to deter hunting parties.
“Chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA) has assured complete support to help build the post,” said Ms Khan.
Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023
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