CHITRAL: A mysterious predator killed seventeen goats of a shepherd in Beori village in the south of the district during last night attack after breaking open the corral in the nighttime.
Sub-Divisional Police officer of Drosh, Iqbal Karim told Chitral Times .com here on Saturday that Akram Jan of Muzhen Beori village found seventeen of his goats pierced to death while the marauder was nowhere in sight.
He said that the local people suspected it to be lynx which had a fair population in the forests of the lower and central parts of Chitral which carried out onslaughts against the cattle in the nighttime when it is pressed by hunger because the higher altitude of the forest is packed with snow.
He said that some other villagers ascribed it to the common leopard while many others held the opinion that it could be the bevy of wolves which had been which carried out the onslaught which had been spotted many times in the periphery of the village forest many days ago.
The project manager of Pakistan Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (PSLEP), Shafiqullah Khan was contacted to know his version about the possible identity of the marauder, he said that it could not be said with certainty that it was snow leopard.
He said that there was remote possibility of the wild cat to be responsible for the incident because it had last been spotted in any area of Chitral five years ago and it is mostly probable that it might have fled to the contiguous area of Afghanistan and the village in question was far away from the Afghan borders.
He said that it could be wolves or common leopard which had been spotted in the camera trapping last year in some parts of the district.
When the Divisional Forest officer of wildlife Division Chitral, Muhammad Hussain was contacted to know his version, he said that it was possibly the attack of common leopard and wolves but he will send his field staff to ascertain the predator’s identity on scientific basis.
Regarding compensation to the affected farmer, he said as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife and Biodiversity (protection, preservation, conservation and management) Act, 2105, the case will be put up before the management board of the department in Peshawar which will take decision over it.
“It may take about a year’s time in awarding compensation to the affected shepherd”, he said adding that the amount of compensation will be decided by the board as per rules drawn in the Act.
Meanwhile, the local people have started guarding their corrals in the village in the night to ward off the wild animals as they anticipated more such onslaughts while the incident has caused the prevalence of fear and people confined themselves inside their homes after sunset.