Chinese wildlife experts rescue paralysed snow leopard from Tibetan Plateau
Injured animal now receiving treatment as specialists hope it will one day be able to walk again
A paralysed snow leopard has been rescued by Chinese experts after the rare animal was spotted by rangers in the eastern Tibetan Plateau, according to state media reports.
The high-altitude region in western China is home to more than 1,000 snow leopards, around one quarter of the species’ global population, according to WWF.
Two forest rangers found the injured leopard during a patrol on October 16 in Nangchen county, Qinghai province, China News Service reported on Tuesday.
They sent the animal to a nearby temple and notified the local environmental protection bureau.
A special rescue group assembled by the local government rushed to the temple, only to find that the animal was too weak to walk or eat, the report said.
They concluded there was little they could do due to their lack of veterinary skills and medical supplies.
However, the deputy mayor of Nangchen county contacted Qiaonyu Foundation, a charity for environmental protection based in the country’s capital, which sent out a team of experts to treat the animal.
The snow leopard was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, which had caused the hind-leg paralysis.
Experts concluded it had been ill for days because a blood sample showed signs of inflammation.
The animal is recovering after being treated.
Experts are still working on future treatment plans to help the wild animal walk and run again.