ISLAMABAD-The residents of Shahdara village Islamabad are living under constant fear after leopard has killed many of their domesticated animals in last several days, restricting public mobility during early and late hours.

The residents sharing their ordeals with APP said that more than two dozen of their goats and half a dozen cows and calves in a couple of months have been hunted by leopard, inflicting huge financial loss to them.

“My cow was killed in a radius of just 200 metres from the house couple of weeks back by a leopard as the villagers have seen it moving with a pair of cubs nearby our habitations” said Zakir Hussain, a local.

The mosque’s cleric, Abdul Rashid, who leads the prayers sharing similar story said he was just paid a monthly remuneration of Rs 8,000 and had purchased a cow to have milk for his family but it was killed by a leopard hiding in nearby forest.”

“I may not be able to afford to buy another one”, he expressed his feeling in a heart-stricken mood.

“Goats were leopard’s easy targets as more than two dozen goats were being hunted in a couple of month and it’s not a single cat as there is possibly more than one big cats in the forest connecting the village,” said Saghir Hussain another dweller of Shahdara.

A resident Maan Ali sharing his story said: “My goat is missing for the last two days and it is for sure that it has been picked by a leopard, preying domesticated animals for the last many days in the area.” A group of villagers, equipped with guns and axes, on information that a leopard is sighted in the area chased it last week to kill it in a fit of rage but failed to overpower it and it disappeared in nearby thick forest.

“Thanks God no incident of leopard attack on human is as yet reported but we are all afraid about our children who have to go to schools daily and are more prone to an attack,” Zaheer Shah another native remarked.

When contacted an official of Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), Sakhawat Hussain said there were two families of leopards in Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) and they were approximately five to six according to statistics recently collected by the board. Vilage Shahdara falls in the same terrain of MHNP, he added.

Sakhawat said leopards normally do not enter in the human settlements but due to shrinking of wildlife habitat and paucity of prey animals in the forest big cats were hunting pet animals.

Sakhawat also admitted to receive a couple of complaints from villagers seeking indemnity against leopard’s attacks but he regretted that the IWMB has no compensation fund to redress their concerns.

He however stressed the need to create such fund with the help of community as initiated by the people of Khyber PakhtunKhwa (KPK). He also cited an example of Ayubia where KPK wildlife department compensated a victim in a leopard’s attack.

“The compensation would help protect rare and exotic wildlife and community must be involved to create awareness, otherwise in a fit of rage in Shahdara like incidents people will kill leopards that already come under endangered species in Pakistan,” Sakhawat warned.