Leopard (representational image)Reuters

Pakistan wants to bring back its snow leopard from the Bronx Zoo in the United States, eight years after it was sent there due to lack of facilities in the country. 

Secretary Forest Gilgit-Baltistan Sajad Haider on Sunday urged the Federal Minister for Climate Change to push for the return of the snow leopard 'Leo' from the US.

"The snow leopard that was named Leo was a cub and handed over to the Bronx Zoo authorities because Pakistan lacked facilities for its proper nourishment, and until the time a set up was developed for the rehabilitation of such rare species," the forest official said, Dawn reported. 

While Pakistan had lacked the facilities to keep the snow leopard cub, which was found orphaned in 2005 in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, it has since developed two facilities, one at Gilgit Baltistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

The snow leopard, an endangered species, had been shifted to the US in 2006 based on a memorandum of understanding between the World Conservation Society and the Gilgit-Baltistan administration. 

Leo, in the meanwhile, has fathered a cub in the Bronx zoo. 

If Leo returns to Pakistan, he may also be accompanied by a few female snow leopards, as per the MoU.