Post-mortem reveals mystery leopard to be Persian
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Results of an inspection of the leopard’s carcass, conducted by TÜBİTAK, reveal that the animal belonged to the Persian family of leopards. DHA photoA leopard that was killed earlier this month in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır was Persian, not Anatolian as previously thought, according to the results of an inspection of the feline’s carcass conducted by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
DNA samples revealed that the animal belonged to the Persian family of leopards, known as Panthera pardus saxicolor, TÜBİTAK said in a written statement.
The head of TÜBİTAK’s Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Institute, Bayram Yüksel, said the Persian leopard was also commonly known as an Iranian, Caucasian or Central Asian leopard, adding that the leopard lived in Iran, the Caucasus, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Anatolian leopards were long thought to be extinct in Turkey, but speculation as to their continued existence was raised Nov. 3 when a shepherd in Diyarbakır’s Çınar district shot and killed a leopard after it attacked another shepherd. Subsequent forensic reports also showed that the feline had previously been shot in the foot.
Yüksel said his organization had not previously encountered a living Anatolian leopard.