Borzou, the old leopard whose fitting with a GPS collar was described in our earlier news item dated 5 February 2015, has been tracked crossing the Iran–Turkmenistan border. Over 10 years old, he has been continuously monitored since 22 February 2015, shortly after he was captured in Tandoureh National Park. Borzou had been roaming outside the park since 26 September and had walked about 20 kilometers through several villages and developed areas to reach the Turkmenistan border. Our research team has been working closely with local wildlife authorities during this period to minimize the risk of human–leopard conflict. There has been no claim by local people of livestock loss or attacks on humans by leopards during this period. Interestingly, Borzou remained unseen within this human-dominated landscape before crossing the border into Turkmenistan’s Kopet Dagh mountains.
His transit into Turkmenistan is the first verifiable record of leopard movements between Iran and Turkmenistan, stressing the need for trans-boundary cooperation and conservation initiatives between these two countries. The research team has been trying to contact Turkmen authorities to ensure Borzou’s safe passage inside the country. This is not the first time that Borzou has left his territory in Tandoureh National Park. About two months before, in August 2015, he left the reserve and spent 23 days in the surrounding villages, where he killed several domestic dogs and one ewe.