ISLAMABAD, Aug 7: Thirteen-month-old Leo, a male snow leopard found by a shepherd in the Nalter valley of Northern Areas in July last year, is on its way to the Bronx Zoo in New York to take part in a captive breeding programme.

The snow leopard has been listed as ‘endangered’ on International Union for Conservation of Nature’s global Red List of Threatened Species, and as ‘critically endangered’ on the Pakistan Red List.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it is not practical to release the cub, which stands 21 inches tall and weighs 25 kilos, back into the wild because it has been completely dependent on humans. Since zoos in Pakistan do not have the scientific expertise and resources to undertake a captive breeding programme, Leo will enjoy state-of-art snow leopard facilities at the Bronx Zoo.

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