Loss of a passionate soul, a hardworking researcher and a brilliant student

We lost Zubair Shah on 1st August, 2017

He was pursuing a Masters of Philosophy in Wildlife Ecology at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Along with two other fellow students, a researcher and two local persons, Zubair was travelling towards Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan, from a village named Askole in Central Karakoram National Park after completing their research project when their vehicle fell into the Braldo river. Two of the passengers survived the accident, but the whereabouts of other four are still not known. Sadly, Zubair’s dead body was recovered after two weeks. From his childhood, Zubair had always been a dedicated student, an avid thinker and a person passionate about succeeding in life. He always found himself fascinated with birds, animals, their diversity and their unspoken language. He opted to pursue higher studies instead of getting married; convincing his father to allow him to use money the family had saved for his wedding so that he could obtain a degree in wildlife ecology. He got his Master’s degree in Zoology from University of Malakand, and secured admission in the M.Phil program in Wildlife Ecology at QAU in 2016. During his time at university, Zubair demonstrated keen interest in academics and field based research. He not only understood the latest investigation techniques in wildlife research, but also improved them through extensive literature review and critical thinking. His peers admired his dedication, sense of responsibility, vigilance and cautious attitude in obtaining field data. He was so thrilled to stay and work on his data in the field when all other students were tired and yearning to go back to their homes, a peer recalls. In his quest to better understand and ultimately protect Pakistan’s wildlife, Zubair took on the challenge of working in the extraordinary rugged terrain of Karakoram. He devoted his life for a cause as noble as wildlife conservation and while doing so, became a lot larger than life. He will always live the depth of our hearts, smiling, working steadily towards his goals and ambitions.