It won’t be long before we see stuffed bodies of snow leopards, exhibited in museums only, as they are suffering the same fate of extinction as their pre-historic saber-toothed ancestors. To many, the disappearing of the modern snow leopard might not pose any sorrow, as losing a ferocious carnivore from the food chain which makes the lives of villagers and herdsmen comparatively safer. However, the saddening outcome would be that, one of nature’s most magnificent beasts will perish at the hands of the bigger more ferocious brute that is us humans!

BBC has highlighted the alarming threat of extinction to snow leopards, inhabiting in the Northern Pakistan, which already amount to a meager 200to 400. The government has taken positive steps by entering into agreements with the local farmers to protect the endangered species, in return for lucrative returns. Similarly hunting permits for wild goats also bring in good money for the locals as regulating grazing patterns attract wild goats, which both feed the leopards as well as offer more hunting licenses.

With such measures in place, the population of leopards is still fast depleting owing to illegal poaching, hunting and retaliatory killings by angered farmers. It has to be understood that human encroachments have disrupted the leopard’s habitat and diminished their food sources, which has caused them to wander into villages and stage defensive and predatory attacks. The government is urged to ensure the survival of the majestic big cat by empowering local authorities to stage intervention against poachers and penalize accordingly. Though wild and ferocious, they are still at the hands of our mercy and protection.

BARRISTER MOBEEN SHAH,

United Kingdom, April 13.