AJK authorities scramble to find dead leopard cubs after pictures go viral

Sources say baby leopards were "shot dead" day before Eid ul Adha; wildlife official says no breakthrough made in search operation

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Dead bodies of leopard cubs seen in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/GeoNews

MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) wild-life department officials on Tuesday made efforts to locate the dead bodies of leopard cubs, who were allegedly shot dead on June 16, a day before Eid ul Adha. 

The authorities scrambled to find the baby felines after the pictures of their lifeless bodies lying in Muzaffarabad's Phgwan Dupatta area surfaced on social media. 

The wildlife authorities were reportedly informed by area locals about the matter on a phone call. 

Responding to the reports, AJK's Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department teams reached the area where the dead leopard cubs were reportedly present, the officials said, adding that the investigations into the matter were underway. 

Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department Director Naeem Iftikhar Dar said that commenting on the alleged killing of the wild cats would be "pre-mature" until their dead bodies are not located.

However, the locals said that they had heard gunshots in the area. 

Speak said that a request for registration of a case against the alleged killing of leopard cubs had been submitted to the relevant police station.

Speaking to Geo News, Dar said that the teams have been searching for the felines for a couple of days but there has been no trace of their mortal remains. 

He said that they are also looking for any eye-witnesses to make a breakthrough in the investigations. 

The viral pictures that sparked fury among the animal rights activists were later removed from social media, while the id through which the images were uploaded couldn't be traced as well.