‘Snow leopard recedes deep into its wild habitat’

| | Shimla
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‘Snow leopard recedes deep into its wild habitat’

Saturday, 23 May 2020 | PNS | Shimla

A snow leopard cub which was rescued from a village in Spiti valley earlier this month and released back into the wild on May 18 evening, might have receded deep into its wild habitat. It also might possibly be reunited with its mother.

Dr Savita, IFS Pr CCF (WL) cum chief Wild Life Warden, Himachal Pradesh on Friday said that till May 21, no report of cub straying into human habitation has been reported and it is presumed that the animal receded deep into its wild habitat which is good for everyone.

The chief wildlife warden said that a snow leopard cub, aged about six months, that got trapped in a corral of village Giu, Kaza, was captured on May 2. It was found to be injured and dehydrated and was brought to the nearest wildlife Quarantine Centre of Himalayan Nature Park, Kufri for necessary treatment. During its quarantine, extreme care was taken lest the animal develops any kind of human imprinting. After diligent care the animal was found to be healthy for its release back into the wild.

She said that a team comprising of DFO (WL), Shimla, Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Pharmacist and other Forest officials transported the animal to the location in the vicinity of its capture on May 17.  Keeping in mind the vulnerability of the species, due care was taken to complete the journey only during the cool hours of the day. The animal was medically observed at intervals of two hours throughout the journey and was adequately fed, watered and rested intermittently.

Dr Savita said that another team headed by DFO (Spiti) at Kaza, other forest officials and representatives of NCF, in the meanwhile had located a female snow leopard, probably cub’s mother, nearby Giu village. The team kept close tabs on the movement of the animal.

A strong liaisioning between the two teams was developed and a strategy was formulated to release this cub in its habitat itself near to the place from where it was captured.  The cub was kept at this location for a short period and the team set up a camp at a short distance from the place. Entire area was covered through camera-trap surveillance and the animal was finally released on May 18 evening in accordance with the Rescue and Release Guidelines (2010) of Himachal Pradesh Government and relevant sections of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

The chief wildlife warden said that a team of forest officials along with members of NCF and local community has been deputed to observe and scan entire area for the next few days to keep a vigil for its movement around the area to prevent any untoward incidence. Till May 21 morning, no report of cub straying into human habitation has been reported and it is grossly presumed that the animal receded deep into its wild habitat which is good for everyone, she added.

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