The Wildlife Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa foiled a bid to smuggle hides of four snow leopard and arrested four poachers on Hazara Expressway on Friday.
“The seizure and arrest came in the wake of prior information about smuggling of hides to Islamabad from Hazara,” said Sardar Nawaz SDFO of Wildlife Department Abbottabad.
On receiving information, checking was started on Hazara Havelian Road during which the four smugglers were arrested along with preserved hides of snow leopards. The recovered hides included one large and three small, apparently of a mother and three of her cubs, adds Nawaz.
Initial investigation revealed that the smugglers were bringing these hides from Ghizer district of Gilgit Baltistan for taking it to Islamabad, SDFO told journalists.
The seized hides were purchased by smugglers at a price of Rs3 million and wanted to sell them in Islamabad at much higher rates.
The Wildlife Department while taking action under Wildlife Act 2015, fined each of the smugglers Rs100,000.
It merits mention that the snow leopard is a very rare and reclusive wild specie which has a limited population in a few countries including in mountainous ranges of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th2023.
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