Rare pair of Persian leopards spotted in Pakistan
A pair of rare Persian leopards first sighted in Pakistan last year have been filmed and photographed in the wild, officials said on Friday.
Sharifuddin Baloch, a senior conservation official in Balochistan province, said the couple were first spotted by rangers in Hazarganji Wildlife Park six months ago.
Adult leopards are solitary in the wild and only mate to mate.
“We have equipped our staff with cameras and binoculars to film the pair and take pictures,” Baloch said.
“This month our staff have been successful.”
Persian leopards are a panther subspecies native to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus.
However, they are extremely rare and classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered.
It is believed that there are less than 1000 in the wild, and 200 more in captivity.
“We are taking action to protect rare species,” Baloch told AFP, adding that officials were sharing data with IUCN.
Video taken by park officials shows one of the leopards beautifully camouflaged on a steep, rocky hill until he gets up and walks away.
Baloch said there was no previous record of the creature ever seen in Pakistan.
Panthera tulliana is larger and has a different patch pattern from the more common Indian leopard (panthera fusca) found across Pakistan.
Pakistan is also home to vulnerable snow leopards (panthera uncia) in the northern Himalayas.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)