A shocking story greeted the readers of Kathmandu Post in Nepal yesterday. It showed this photo of two snow leopard pelts. Two people have been arrested in Mustang in Nepal (where it is illegal to kill the cats) with the hides of the two snow leopards. One is the owner of the Paradise Guest House in Marpha village and the other his employee. There will be further investigations held in the nearby town of Pokhara.
Various conservation agencies are working with many communities in Everest regions and other areas in Nepal to educate them about snow leopards in Nepal.
Kamal Thapa, a field biologist with many years experience working with snow leopards and Research Officer with WWF Nepal, one such conservation agency says, “This report itself is not good news despite the continual conservation effort on snow leopard in Nepal Himalaya. Such issue clearly indicates that our focus on snow leopard conservation is not adequate. Hence, to combat this issue we need to work together specially with local people of Himalaya.”
Hopefully this sad example will serve to educate people and increase conservation support to keep the snow leopards of Nepal alive.
News story and photo from Kathmandu Post 30/05/11