After the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988), which severely degraded Iraqi nature, Persian leopards (Panthera pardus tulliana) were thought to be locally extinct. The war left the country with mountains covered with millions of landmines and many species with vastly depleted numbers. So nobody expected this endangered species — the world’s largest leopard — to remain in the Zagros Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Continue reading the fascinating story about Hana Raza and her beloved Persian leopards on Earth Island Journal.
Credit: PWHF-P4L-Panthera-Golestan DoE, Hamed Abolghasemi