CHITRAL: A trapped Kashmir markhor could not be retrieved from a small cave in a hill along the Chitral River near the Chew bridge where it had taken refuge after being frightened by the motorists on the Airport Road on Friday morning.
Divisional forest officer, Chitral Gol wildlife division, Irshad Ahmed said while grazing in the vicinity of Balach village near the national park, a horde of Kashmir markhor were chased by stray dogs, as a result, one of them slipped onto the road and rushed to a cave.
He said the field staff of wildlife department and the Rescue 1122 personnel carried out a joint operation to catch the animal and bring it to the road so that it could go back to the park, but the action had to be stopped as it might have frightened the animal into jumping into the river.
The forest officer said the watchers of the department had been posted along the road near the cave to watch the markhor’s movement.
He said the animal could come out of the cave, possibly in the morning when it felt safe.
“We will call in swimmers and will make concerted attempts to safely grab the five-year-old female markhor from the cave and release it into the park on Saturday, if it does not come out early in the morning,” he said.
He said the population of markhor in the park had exceeded 2,800, adding the animals came to the lower altitudes in search of food and come closer to the villages of Balach, Singur and Goldur.
Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018