Source: Tehran Times
A three-month old leopard cub was seized from the smugglers on Wednesday and transferred to Pardisan Park rehabilitation center, Mehr news agency reported on Friday.
The leopard cub was seized in Khuzestan province from a group of animal
traffickers who were trying to smuggle the animal to one the Persian Gulf
states, Ramhormoz chief of department of environment said.
A group of rangers went undercover to catcher the animal traffickers and finally managed to save the leopard cub from them, Mohsen Marhamati said.
Unfortunately the animal sustained injuries and was transferred to Pardisan Park rehabilitation center in Tehran.
Persian leopard is
one of the nine sub-species of the world's leopards, which is considered to be
the largest, and is among the most endangered species in the Red
List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Reducing
the species feeding the leopards due to illegal hunting, changing habitats due
to road construction and mining activities, fire, domestic animal hunting and
illegal hunting of such precious species due to its skin are among the reasons
led to their being endangered. Although, the largest population survived in Iran
among the Middle East. The population is estimated at fewer
than 871-1,290 mature individuals and considered declining.
According to the Department of Environment, 156 leopards have been killed in Iran from 2005 to 2014, nearly 20 leopards a year. Studies indicate that currently there are less than 500 leopards nationwide.
In Iran, primary threats are habitat disturbances followed by illegal hunting and excess of livestock in the leopard habitats. The leopards' chances for survival outside protected areas appear very slim.
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