Published On: Fri, May 22nd, 2020

Snow leopard cub successfully reintroduced in Himachal’s Spiti Valley

Shimla: Wildlife officials in Himachal Pradesh on Friday said that they have “successfully” reintroduced the six-month snow leopard in the wild in the Spiti Valley, some 350 km from Shimla, after 16 days of captivity.

It was found to be injured and dehydrated and was brought to the nearest wildlife quarantine centre

The snow leopard cub that got trapped in a corral of Giu village of Kaza subdivision was captured on May 2, a media statement by Chief Wildlife Warden Savita said.

It was found to be injured and dehydrated and was brought to the nearest wildlife quarantine centre of the Himalayan Nature Park in Kufri for necessary treatment.

During its quarantine, extreme care was taken lest the animal develops any kind of human imprinting. After diligent care, it was found to be healthy for its release back into the wild, she said.

Wildlife officials transported this vulnerable species for veterinary checkup to the nature park in Kufri, near here, some 350 km from the spot.

On its reintroduction, the wildlife wing statement said a team transported the animal to the location in the vicinity of its capture on May 16-17.

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.

Another team headed by the DFO (Spiti) and representatives of the Nature Conservation Foundation had located a female snow leopard, probably the cub’s mother, near 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, said the statement.

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 in the evening of May 18 in accordance with guidelines.

Till the morning of 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, added the statement.

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