Snow leopard spotted in upper Manang villageA snow leopard was spotted in a human settlement in Manang village in upper Manang on Monday.
Local people and tourists gathered in the village to view the critically endangered mammal scientifically known as Uncia uncial. Local people said the animal strayed from a nearby forest.
Local people said that after killing a calf of Yak and a mountain goat, the animal entered the forest on Tuesday. However, no human causalities were reported.
“The animal is rarely spotted in forests. This is the first time the animal entered a settlement,” said Binod Gurung, chairman of Manang Tourism Management Committee. “I felt fortunate to have seen a snow leopard,” he added. Following the incident, local people are keeping vigil, fearing that the animal may enter the village again and kill their Yaks.
Destruction of habitat and increasing population of the mammal are said to be reason behind the leopard entering human settlements.
The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has been carrying out a study on the animal in Manang, Gorkha and Mustang to keep record of its numbers for the past six years. Sudip Adhikari, conservation officer at ACAP, said besides installing 15 cameras at different places in forests, 10 groups have been formed in Manang alone to conserve the animal. He said they will prepare the report soon. Conservation of the animal may attract tourists and those willing to study on the animal, he added.