Hexbyte Glen Cove Rare leopard captured in northern Iraq

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The big cat sustained a wound to its back leg when it was caught in a trap.

An endangered leopard captured in Iraq’s mountainous north had its hind leg amputated on Friday following a trap-inflicted wound, an AFP photographer said.

The Persian leopard, taken in a day earlier in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region near the border with Turkey, had injured two people, said Colonel Jamal Saado, head of the environmental protection police in Dohuk .

Residents of a village near the town of Zakho lost around 20 sheep before realising a leopard was attacking their flocks, he said.

The big cat sustained a wound to its back leg when it was caught in a shepherd’s trap, but managed to escape before villagers helped police track it down.

Saado said the was given anaesthetic before it was captured.

“We had two or three similar cases in Arbil province” several years ago, he said, adding that an animal of the same subspecies had previously been found dead near a village in Dohuk province.

Persian leopards are a panther sub-species native to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and the Caucasus.

They are extremely rare and have been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Fewer than 1,000 are believed to exist in the wild, with another 200 in captivity.

Veterinarian Soleiman Tamr, who conducted the amputation at Dohuk zoo on Friday, said the animal weighed around 90-100 kilogrammes (200-220 pounds).

“We will monitor it for a long time,” said the vet, who also heads an animal protection society in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“If it can’t be returned to the wild, it will live at the zoo,” he said.



© 2021 AFP

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Snow leopard at Kentucky zoo tests positive for coronavirus thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Snow leopard at Kentucky zoo tests positive for coronavirus

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A snow leopard at a Kentucky zoo is the first in the U.S. to test positive for the coronavirus, federal officials announced Friday.

Two other at the Louisville Zoo are undergoing testing to confirm the virus, the Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories said in a statement.

Officials took samples from the three large cats after they showed signs of respiratory illness, the statement said.

All three showed mild symptoms and are being monitored closely, but are expected to make full recoveries, the Louisville Zoo said in a statement. No other animals were showing symptoms, the zoo said.

The cats were likely infected by an asymptomatic staff member, despite precautions that included caretakers wearing , officials said.

The zoo said the risk of infected animals spreading the virus to humans is considered to be low and the zoo remains open, though the snow leopard exhibit is closed while the cats recover.



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