Saturday
24 February | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Ramadan gives wildcats, other animals ‘a chance to enjoy’ human-free jungles

Islamabad Wildlife Management Board confirm presence of Asian leopard on Trail-5 of Margalla Hills National Park

An Asian leopard was spotted on the Trail-5 of the Margalla Hills National Park in Islamabad by a trekker early in the morning, according to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board.

During Ramadan, “very few people visit trails which makes the Margalla Hills National Park deserted and open for wildlife to stroll,” said Rina Saeed Khan, chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board.

She said that leopard though nocturnal was a very shy and solitaire wildcat that deliberately evades human encounters. “It is visible in the video that the leopard noticed a human being making video but soon left the spot and disappeared in the wild,” she added.

‘Least interested in humans, leopards are not a threat in protected area but rather indicated a healthy ecosystem’

She emphasized that the leopards were least interested in humans and were not a threat in the protected area but rather indicated a healthy ecosystem. She urged the masses to avoid disturbing the wildlife in national park as it is their habitat and the humans are intruding into it.

The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board requested all visitors, hikers and trekkers to remain careful and avoid visiting the Margalla Hills National Park half an hour before sunset. Be aware, “it is a patrolling time of the wildcats and can result into any incident though it never occurred so far,” it said.

“In case of any encounter with a leopard or any wild animal, one must abstain from confronting or chasing that animal and never shout as it will scare the animal,” Rina Saeed Khan said. It is pertinent to mention here that the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board has time and again issued detailed guidelines for park visitors to keep themselves safe from leopards, and other wild animals.

‘Visitors must abstain from confronting or chasing in case of any encounter with a leopard or any wild animal’

The guidelines that were equally helpful for locals, tourists, trekkers and area guides underlined that the local community people should avoid entering the jungle area during early morning or evening hours as the leopard remains active during this time. At night, the local people should keep a tube light or bulb illuminated, and keep livestock locked at a safer place.

It said that women and children should be abstained to enter the jungle alone whereas the female should go in groups to collect fuelwood. Moreover, the individuals entering into the forests should keep a club with them and keep on talking in a loud voice, especially in the evening and morning hours.

‘Never shout at leopard as it will scare wildcat’
‘Never shout at leopard as it will scare wildcat’

In case of any encounter with the leopard in the wild, it is important for the individual to remain composed and patient instead of shouting and running in fear as this reaction will be similar to that of the leopard’s prey. The individual rather steps backwards and leave the area slowly, according to the guidelines.

If an individual hears the growling sounds of a leopard, then he or she must avoid intruding further into the jungle area. Furthermore, if a female leopard is spotted with her cubs, then it is necessary to avoid entering or passing into that area. In case of a very close encounter with the leopard, then the individual should clap with his or her both hands and should move his arms or shawl to show him or herself bigger than the wildcat.

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