By Hemant Chauhan
Kurfri, April 13 : Not very long ago a pair of snow leopards was brought to the Himalayan Nature Park near Kufri. But their live in relation could not last longer, as the female died. Since then a hunt is on to end the male leopard's misery. But, so far, all in vain.
The Forest Department officials of Himachal Pradesh are scouting other forests and zoos to find a suitable match for Subhash, the male snow leopard at the Himalayan Nature Park.
Subhash's seclusion has been a constant worry for its caretaker who is concerned about the breeding of this endangered species. He wishes that the snow leopard should find its mate at the earliest.
"We want to save this snow leopard. A lot of tourists come here and enjoy a lot after seeing it. It is also a very beautiful animal," said Baburam, Subhash's caretaker at the Himalayan Nature Park in Kufri.
Meanwhile, the Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh is also keen to do the needful for Subhash as well as breed the spotted snow beauties in similar fashion, and later, release them into the wild.
"We are the third zoo that has been recognized as participating zoo and Darjeeling is the co-coordinating zoo. Darjeeling has a long experience of breeding snow leopards. We have also been breeding snow leopard here but somehow at later stage we were not able to release it and it died after that. But with the new knowledge and new experiments, we would be able to do it successfully," said Nagesh Guleria, Deputy Conservator Wildlife Wing, Himachal Pradesh.
Presently, the snow leopards are kept here for study purposes and they will be used for conservational purpose as well in near future, Guleria informed.
Visitors enjoy watching the snow leopard here.Most of the tourists say that there is need to preserve this endangered species and that it should also be kept in other zoos of the country as well.
"It is very good and should be protected, even in Chandigarh. One can't easily see such things in life. Though we have seen a lot of leopards but this is the first time that I could watch a snow leopard," said Balbinder Singh, a visitor from Punjab.
Subhash, the male snow leopard, was brought here in 2005. But the female partner died in 2007. The forest department could not breed any snow leopard since then.
Spiti region in Himachal Pradesh is the natural habitat of snow leopard.
In India, this spotted beautiful feline is also found in the valley and Ladakh regions of Kashmir, upper reaches of Himalayas in Uttranchal, Sikkim, north Bengal and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.