Rare leopard captured in northern Iraq

The big cat sustained a wound to its back leg when it was caught in a trap
The big cat sustained a wound to its back leg when it was caught in a trap.

An endangered leopard captured in Iraq's mountainous north had its hind leg amputated on Friday following a trap-inflicted wound, an AFP photographer said.

The Persian leopard, taken in a day earlier in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region near the border with Turkey, had injured two people, said Colonel Jamal Saado, head of the environmental protection police in Dohuk .

Residents of a village near the town of Zakho lost around 20 sheep before realising a leopard was attacking their flocks, he said.

The big cat sustained a wound to its back leg when it was caught in a shepherd's trap, but managed to escape before villagers helped police track it down.

Saado said the was given anaesthetic before it was captured.

"We had two or three similar cases in Arbil province" several years ago, he said, adding that an animal of the same subspecies had previously been found dead near a village in Dohuk province.

Persian leopards are a panther sub-species native to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and the Caucasus.

They are extremely rare and have been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Fewer than 1,000 are believed to exist in the wild, with another 200 in captivity.

Veterinarian Soleiman Tamr, who conducted the amputation at Dohuk zoo on Friday, said the animal weighed around 90-100 kilogrammes (200-220 pounds).

"We will monitor it for a long time," said the vet, who also heads an animal protection society in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"If it can't be returned to the wild, it will live at the zoo," he said.

© 2021 AFP

Citation: Rare leopard captured in northern Iraq (2021, December 31) retrieved 9 December 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-rare-leopard-captured-northern-iraq.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Indian officials capture rare snow leopard, send it to zoo


Feedback to editors