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Leopard couple witnessed in Quetta mountain range.

QUETTA -- A couple of leopard has been witnessed in Taka to mountain range adjacent to Quetta which probably had migrated from Afghanistan to Pakistani mountainous area in search of food.

A non-governmental group working on preservation of wildlife arranged a trip of Quetta based journalists to Taka to mountain range on Tuesday.

"A leopard ate goat of a villager in Taka to mountain range in last snowfall and when villagers chased the footprint of the leopard on snow, they watched a couple of leopard on the peak of the mountain," the group's office-bearers told media persons. They recalled that earlier, a black leopard had been witnessed in Lukas tunnel area near Quetta few years back which also migrated from Afghanistan to Pakistan in search of food.

A wildlife expert Naeem Khan Bazar told newsmen that according to a survey conducted in 2000, there were only eight to 10 Marcher (mountainous goat) in Taka to range adding that but with the efforts of the NGOs working on preservation of wildlife, there number had reached to about 300 in 2012.

He said that these Marcher are found on Taka to peak which is second highest mountainous peak of Balochistan. The journalists were told that some influential politicians, local elders and senior officials were involved in poaching of precious animals and birds in Taka to mountain range. Bazar said that besides leopard and Marcher, some other species of wildlife including wolf, jackal, rabbit and others are also found in Taka to wildlife area. He alleged that the employees of Forests and Wildlife Department were involved in providing facility of poaching to influential. He further blamed that these employed also used to hunt precious bird Chakri from Taka to wildlife area and later gift it to the dignitaries.

The journalists team was informed that Taka to mountain range was rich with about 110 medicinal herbs which are used in manufacturing of anti-biotic and pain killer medicines. "Some local people are involved in cutting centuries-old Juniper trees from Takeo's mountains for using it as fuel in their kitchen," Bazar said. The media team also visited Kachhi dam built in era of former ruler Ayyub Khan. They observed that the dam was filled with mud by 80 feet level. It is remarkable that a road was being built in Taka to mountain range and after completion of this road project, the distance between Quetta and Zia rat would be covered within two hours.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:May 9, 2012
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