Ahmadreza Lahijanzadeh, the head of Khuzestan’s office of the Department of Environment, said the rare species were spotted in the no-hunting mountainous areas of Izeh, raising hopes that their numbers may be increasing in the region.
The official noted that Middle Zagros, a part of Zagros Mountains straddled across Iran, Iraq and southeastern Turkey, are the main habitants of Persian leopards.
Lahijanzadeh added, the big cats were observed by the same park ranger who had captured the images of four Persian leopards in 2014 trotting together in Shimbar protected area near Andica, north of Khuzestan.
Persian leopards are among the most endangered species in the world. The animal has been listed as "endangered" in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Iran is one of their main habitats.
Reduced prey population and shrinkage of their natural habitat are threatening the big cats. Bamou National Park in the southern Fars province is one of the main habitats of the Persian leopard.
Yesterday (Oct. 28), a Persian leopard was spotted in the mountainous habitats of Taleghan county, in Alborz province, northwest of Tehran.