Foreigners threaten Afghan snow leopards
June 27, 2008
By Jonathon Burch
KABUL – Afghanistan’s snow leopards have barely survived three decades of war. But now the few remaining mountain leopards left in Afghanistan face another threat — foreigners involved in rebuilding the war-torn country.
Despite a complete hunting ban across Afghanistan since 2002, snow leopard furs regularly end up for sale on international military bases and at tourist bazaars in the capital. Foreigners have ready cash to buy the pelts as souvenirs and impoverished Afghans break poaching laws to supply them.
Tucked between souvenir stores on Chicken Street, Kabul’s main tourist trap, several shops sell fur coats and pelts taken from many of Afghanistan‘s threatened and endangered animals.
Afghanistan releases its first-ever list of protected species: here.
Snow leopards caught on film in Afghanistan: here.