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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

First snow leopards collared in Afghanistan

•,by Wildlife Conservation Society
The team successfully captured and released the male snow leopards on May 27 and June 8 respectively. Each cat was weighed, measured, fitted with a Vectronix satellite collar, and DNA samples were taken. After DNA samples, the healthy snow leopards were released and headed up the Hindu Kush Mountains in good condition. The big cats will be tracked by WCS to better understand their behavior and range. So far, the first snow leopard, Pahlawan, has travelled more than 125 kilometers; while the second cat, Khani Wakhai, has travelled more than 153 kilometers. The veterinary team, including WCS's Dr. Stephane Ostrowski and two Afghan colleagues Dr. Ali Madad and Dr Hafizullah Noori, conducted the tranquilizing process at the capture sites along with Nat Geo WILD's Boone Smith, an expert tracker who traveled to Afghanistan for the project with the Nat Geo WILD film crew. The work was generously supported by the National Geographic Society, Nat Geo WILD and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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