Real story about the Internet rumor of Tibetan villagers hunting snow leopards

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Publish Time: 2016-07-19 Author: From: China Tibet Online

Recently, a story about some villagers in Tibet hunting wild animals (snow leopards) was posted everywhere on WeChat.

In the minute-long video shared on WeChat, a snow leopard lay on the floor, it kept panting and looked very exhausted. One man grabbed the leopard by its tail and a few villagers gathered around to watch.

After the video was posted online, many people shared it with their friends, and shared the rumor of “These villagers are hunting wild animals and should be seriously punished.”

After checking with the Forestry Department of Tibet Autonomous Region,the real story was released. The incident happened at Burong Village, part of Jumei Administrative Village in Gangse Township, Riwoche County, Chamdo Prefecture, eastern Tibet. The snow leopard in the video was discovered by villagers on June 23rd of this year. At the time, it was fighting with two other snow leopards over a yak. After injuring its left leg during the fight, he ate too much, couldn’t move very well, and was chased by five wild dogs near the village; the situation was pretty dire.

“Luckily, some officials from Gangse Township in Riwoche County saw this. Two village committee members and one wildlife protection employee drove away the wild dogs.” An employee of the Forestry Department of Tibet Autonomous Region said..

The man holding the snow leopard’s tail is Gezha, a member of the Jumei Village committee. When he heard of the commotion, he rushed to the snow leopard’s aid. He held onto the animal’s tail, and was scratched by the snow leopard in the process. In order to prevent the snow leopard from struggling, getting injured again, and maybe attacking the villagers who had arrived on the scene, Gezha made sure to hold onto the animal’s tail.

After the villagers rescued the snow leopard, they followed procedure and reported the incident to the government of the Gangse Township, the Forestry Department of Riwoche County, and the Forestry Department of Chamdo Prefecture. Considering the animal’s type of injury and the lack of outdoor rescue resources, the snow leopard was taken back to the village committee offices for emergency care. After some caretaking, the lightly-injured snow leopard was able to quickly regain its strength.

When the snow leopard had recovered by that afternoon, the workers from the Forestry Department of Riwoche County, Gangse Townshipgovernment, and Jumei Village worked together to release it back into the wild.

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