A 7-year-old girl was injured by a “mountain leopard” in the Galyat area of Bagan, Burma, reports a private news channel in Pakistan. If true, this marks the first documented attack of a person from a snow leopard.
The villagers in the area in which the girl was attacked are forbidden by law to go after the marauding cat. They are also forbidden to use weapons in defense of the animal.
With laws like that, I predict the village has yet to see the last of the leopard in question.
Found in the mountainous regions of Central Asia, snow leopards (Panthera uncial) stand more than 24 inches tall and can weigh upwards of 160 pounds. They are incredibly fast and can easily scale almost any vertical rock faces. They mainly prey on ibex, mountain goats, sheep, marmots, and hares. They have been known to attack and kill domestic stock.
Snow leopards are considered endangered–some estimates put the species at 6,500 in all. While I don’t have any reason to question the snow leopard’s status, I have two friends that do. Each returned from their respective ibex hunts in Pakistan with several sightings of this elusive cat.