Saudi Arabia’s wildlife authorities searching for an endangered Arabian leopard that was killed by farmers have retrieved only its legs and head after it was skinned.
Officials from the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) had rushed to the area near the western Saudi town of Makkah to recover the carcass after it was shown in a YouTube film hanging by a tree but did not find it.
“We found that it was sold by the farmer to a Saudi man for its hide…we found that man and recovered only the Leopard’s legs and head as it was skinned for its hide,” SWA chairman Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Mohammed said.
He said investigation showed that the farmers did not kill the Leopard intentionally and that they had fed poison to a small camel to hunt predators attacking his livestock and camels inside the farm at night.
“The Leopard apparently ate part of that camel…in the morning, the farmers found the Leopard lying dead near the camel,” he said.
Sabq newspaper quoted wildlife experts as saying the Arabian leopard is one of the most endangered animals in the region and that only around 200 of them are believed to live in the Arabian Peninsula.