DOE probes Leopard death cover-up allegations

Financial Tribune- The Department of Environment has begun investigating reports that one of its local offices covered up the death of a young Persian leopard.

Morteza Farid, the head of DOE’s Complaint and Investigation of Office, told Mehr News Agency that they have started looking into the allegations.

In late summer last year, a two-year-old female Persian leopard named Hirkan, was released in the wild by the DOE office in Kordkoy, Golestan Province, despite protests by experts who said the leopard was not fit to survive on its own.

The leopard had been found two years earlier just outside the DOE office in Kordkoy.

In a complaint filed on Tuesday at the DOE headquarters in Tehran, activists said the leopard only survived for 35 days before she died. This is while the local DOE office continued to report stats on the whereabouts of the cub up until last week.

In the complaint, they say the leopard’s corpse was kept frozen by the DOE for three months before local rangers were tasked with moving the carcass around forests in order to trick officials in Tehran into thinking the leopard was alive until recently.

Esmaeil Mohajer, the head of the DOE office in Golestan Province, said they will issue a statement on Wednesday.