In late February 2017, a Snow Leopard which attacked livestock in the village of Misgar in Northern Pakistan was captured. She entered the barn and killed goats and sheep. However, she could not get out of the barn.
The villagers understood that the Snow Leopard must be protected at all cost, but they wanted to ask the administration for compensation of their killed livestock. So, it was the third day after being captured, when she was finally released to the mountain.
This snow leopard was a female snow leopard who was being observed with two cubs near the village of Misgar. They did not release at Misgar but they transported to the Khunjerab National Park where she was released.
The story that snow leopard was captured in Misgar became news immediately, and I was trying to go there. Unfortunately, I was informed that a foreigner needs a permit to go there and I had no time for that. So, I gave up and stayed at Deh check post of Khunjerab National Park, where this snow leopard arrived.
To see the moment when this Snow Leopard is released, TV crew and government officials gathered and moved in a row.
It was decided to release her on the slope of the mountain, just after the Deh check post.
Even the cage was opened, snow leopard did not come out immediately. As it didn’t come out, the locals who were around enchanted, “Lolly, Lolly, come!”.
“Lolly” is the Snow Leopard kept at Sost check post, until autumn of 2016.
Now she has been shifted to Naltar valley. But when National Park staff see a female Snow Leopard, they cannot stop calling it “Lolly.”
As she was thirsty, so she immediately started to eat the snow.
She looked forward towards the people, after eating the snow.
And cautiously observed the environment around her.
She came out slowly from the cage. At this moment, applause arose from the local people standing there.
Finally, now she is freely walking into the wild.
After three days of restraint, her fur was disordered, and the blood of the livestock was still spread on her body.
She stopped to eat the snow.
The Snow Leopard went into the bush but still stared at us.
After a while, it started climbing the mountain again and sat down again.
Although this is a released Snow Leopard, it was first time to see a wild Snow Leopard in Pakistan for me.
We left the place hoping that this snow leopard could safely return to the two cubs in Misgar.
The next day, the staff went to see where the snow leopard was last sighted, but it was not there no more.
Fortunately, three days after the release, there was a message from the National Park staff that this snow leopard was witnessed in Misgar with two cubs.
Photo & Text : Mariko SAWADA
Observation: Feb 2017, Khunjerab National Park, Gilgit -Baltistan
Special Thanks : Mr. Sultan Gohar -KNP(Khunjerab National Park), Mr. Farman Razah – KVO ( Khunjerab Villager Organization), Wildlife Department of Pakistan
Tag : Deh check post , Khunjerab National Park , Misgar , Pakistan Blog , Snow Leopard , Snow Leopard of Pakistan , Snow Leopard Pakistan , Travel Pakistan Blog , Wildlife of Pakisan , Indus Caravan , Saiyu Travel Pakistan , Snow Leopard Conservation , Pakistan Travel company , Pakistan tour operator , Pakistan Photography Tour