outbrain
Close  

Leopards spotted in Pakistan capital’s park as virus clears way

/ 02:20 PM May 17, 2020
India, leopard

A leopard reacts as he walks inside the Dachigam National Park during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, on the outskirts of Srinagar on April 10, 2020. Image: Tauseef MUSTAFA / AFP

Leopards, jackals and other creatures living in Islamabad’s tree-covered hills have been enjoying a rare respite from the throngs of hikers and joggers that normally pack the trails.

Rangers in the Pakistani capital’s Margalla Hills National Park saw animal activity increase soon after the city was locked down in March to counter the coronavirus.

ADVERTISEMENT

Islamabad’s normally reclusive leopards have been roaming onto deserted pathways, and social networks are rife with talk of purported sightings.

Motion-triggered wildlife cameras have been clicking away as animals explore areas they had long been nervous to visit.

FEATURED STORIES

“There is a big increase in the number of animals (seen) in the national park,” ranger Imran Khan — not to be confused with the namesake prime minister — told AFP.

Images the park provided to AFP include pictures of leopards padding along paths, an inquisitive jackal and a muddy boar.

“Wildlife is comfortable as there are no visitors here. They are wandering here comfortably, which is a good sign for the jungle,” Khan said.

The park was locked down for about a month and foot traffic remains light as families, picnickers and walkers stay away during the fasting period of Ramadan.

Margalla Hills National Park, Pakistan

Rangers in Pakistan’s Margalla Hills National Park have seen animal activity increase since a coronavirus lockdown was introduced. Image: Farooq NAEEM – AFP

Sakhwat Ali, Islamabad’s assistant wildlife director, said the space is home to 38 mammal species, 350 bird species and 34 reptile species including 27 types of snake.

Ali added that rangers are conducting a survey and had already noticed new creatures.

“There are some species of butterfly which were not reported earlier, but these are visible now,” Ali said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lockdowns in various cities around the world have seen urban wildlife grow bolder as people stay home. A gang of goats was spotted in a Welsh town and coyotes were seen exploring deserted streets in San Francisco. NVG

RELATED STORIES:

Avilon Zoo begins fundraiser to provide food for animals amid COVID-19

Shrieks of excitement as panda cub makes video appearance

TOPICS: Islamabad, jackal, leopard, national parks, Pakistan, Wildlife
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.