Leopard Gives Birth To Three Cubs In AJK's Haveli District

Leopard Gives Birth To Three Cubs In AJK's Haveli District
A common leopard gave birth to three cubs in an abandoned house in the Jabbi Syedan village of Azad Kashmir's district Haveli.

According to the villagers, the wildcat arrived in the deserted house two days ago to deliver the cubs.

A local activist Sarwat Kiyani told The Friday Times that a passer by saw the cubs with their mother in the house. Thrilled, he ran away and informed other villagers about it.

After some time, a large group of villagers arrived there, which prompted the animal to leave her cubs and run away. As she disappeared, the villagers began taking pictures of the newly-born.

Upon receiving the information, a team of the wildlife department reached the site, and waited for the mother leopard to return, but she didn't.

Later in the evening, when the locals arrived on the scene, the cubs weren't there.

When contacted, Deputy Director, Wildlife Department Shakoor Kataria said, "We are investigating this closely and we have talked to our local team in Haveli."

He ruled out the possibility of the cubs being taken away by the locals. "The leopard would not keep her cubs there for long; she would have taken them to a safer area in the nearby forest."

The three cubs were found in an abandoned house in the village.

Meanwhile, according to a Facebook post by Shaista Ali, a wildlife officer in AJK, "The leopord came at night and took her cubs away. Speculation and rumours should be avoided."

Leopard sighting has become a common in the district. In February 2022, a leopard attacked villagers in Hattian area and got killed by locals, while another was killed in Nosaada, near the Neelum river.

According to reports, over 10 common leopards have been killed by locals during the past two years, owing to a lack of awareness and the negligence of the department concerned.

The staff does not have dart guns to tranquilise the wildcat, and lack training and funds, resulting in the deaths.

Habitat fragmentation due to expansion of human settlements near forest areas compounded with depletion of prey species in the wild habitats due to wildfires and other causes has been forcing the big cats to come out of their habitats in search of food.

The author who is based in London is a former UN official. He is the author of two books Rentier Capitalism: Disorganised Development and Social Injustice in Pakistan and Ruling or Serving Society: The Case for Reforming Financial Services, both published by Palgrave Macmillan, London