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Persian Leopard Surprisingly Spotted in Middle of Lake Urmia

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The presence of a Persian leopard on an island in Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran has surprised experts.

Cameras installed on Kaboodan island in Lake Urmia have recorded images of a leopard. It is not clear how the feline was able to make its way to the island, which has never ever been a habitat for leopards.

Experts believe the leopard, whose gender is still unknown, is the same leopard filmed on Ashk island last year. They say the leopard entered Kaboodan as water levels dropped, connecting the two islands.

The presence of this leopard on an island in Lake Urmia is very strange because the islands in the lake as well as surrounding land stretching kilometres away are not habitats for leopards.

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Read more about Lake Urmia and efforts to save it

It is still not known how and from where the animal got to the islands in the lake.

Some wildlife experts say the big cat could have made its way to the lake from Sahand mountains when water levels were low.


It seems the motive for the leopard to go to the island was the ewe and ram population there which it could use as prey.

It is said that the Department of the Environment moved a male and a female leopard to the island back in 1970 to control the ewe and ram population there. However, both of them died after some time and the carcass of one of them was discovered.

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Photo of the Persian leopard surprisingly spotted on an island in the middle of Lake Urmia in north-western Iran. / Photo by the Department of Environment

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