A rare Persian tiger has been captured in the mountainous region of Dohuk in northern Iraq.
Dohuk Zoo said that when the predator was caught by a trap set by a shepherd, one of its paws had to be amputated on New Year’s Day in Zakho village.
The tiger, about five years old, managed to free himself from the trap for the first time, but was caught by the police again with the help of villagers. During the event, two people were injured by the persecuted big cat.
The trap was set up after the villagers lost 20 sheep and came to the conclusion that the tiger was eating their animals. The Persian leopard is found mainly from the Caucasus through Iran to Afghanistan and is listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Less than 1,000 specimens live in the wild, and another 200 specimens are in captivity.
The tiger captured in Iraq will remain under observation for some time to come and will eventually become a resident of the Dohuk Zoo if vets consider that it will not survive in the wild with its amputated legs.
A similar situation has occurred – two or three – in the past four to five years in the Kurdistan Region of Ireland. The authorities said that years ago a Persian tiger was found near Dohuk, but only died.
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