Living with Persian leopards – An extraordinary co-existence

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We’ve been funding Mohammad Farhadinia and his team in Iran since 2013. Their work has been a pioneering effort to understand conservation needs of Persian leopards, to apply novel and practical solutions to resolve the conservation problems and to raise the awareness for leopard conservation in Iran, and abroad.

Face to face

In mid-December 2019, a short film went viral on social media; a Persian leopard was filmed on top of a truck by a driver face to face with the animal. The leopard, seemingly a young female, was curiously investigating the truck, while the driver was excited to film a leopard from a distance of no more than 2 meters.

The place was part of a huge mining complex, located along Iran-Afghanistan border, which is nowadays more famous for this amazing leopard, than its massive coal reserves. Since then, the leopard has been repeatedly seen by people and miners, raising the concern of what do we do with the leopard?

Taking precautions

The Future4Leopards Foundation has been closely working with local authorities and law enforcement officers. They make sure that the coexistence between the leopard and humans will not end up in causality for either side while keeping an eye to apply any necessary intervention when needed.

Over the past 4 months, although the leopard has injured two people in a rather self-defense manner, the leopard is commonly seen in the area. Interestingly, the urial wild sheep also exist in the area, even though the area is not designated as protected area. The mining company has remained committed to protect wildlife and has removed most of dogs to prevent the leopard killing dogs.

So far, several training sessions have been organised for miners and workers living in the area, while educational signs have been put in place. The situation is also closely monitored to take any additional actions in case needed. Nonetheless, this has been undoubtedly an incredible example of coexistence in an area which has been massive altered by human activities.

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