A young male Persian leopard passing in front of a camera trap with a beautiful view of the Bafq Protected Area in central Iran. Although leopards live a variety of habitat types, they are well adapted to their environment
Now that my contribution to the banner is off, I thought I would post an image of the female leopard having a drink. This was taken in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, when a male and female leopard came to a small pan to drink after a bout of mating. I used a spotlight to capture the images. It was quite a mission choosing to either snap away at the male or the female, or both. This was the result of photographing the female as she lapped at the water.
NAGPUR: It’s a wake up call for the forest officials! Change in crop pattern around the 61 sq km Bor wildlife sanctuary in Wardha may flare-up man-animal conflict around the sanctuary. On Sunday morning, three leopard cubs were found in a cane farm in Mohi (Kini), 7km from Bor in Hingni range.
The three cubs – two male and a female – were found at 7am by labourers extracting sugarcane from. The labourers mistook the cubs with kittens and called up Jadhav. Jadhav handed over the two cubs to local naturalist Jayesh Rannavre, who identified them and called up Bor RFO Shrikant Naik.
A visit to the spot at 10am by Naik and others led to one more cub in the farm. The two cubs were later released with the third one hoping that mother would take them away. As a motley crowd had gathered to see the cubs, SRPF has been summoned to guard the farm.
This is the second such incident after February 5 when four leopard cubs were found in Kinhi).in a farm near Hingni. The cubs were later reunited with the mother. The spot is 4km away from Mohi (
“This is not the isolated case. There are more carnivores moving around Bor. In the past two months, there have been eight cattle kills,” said Naik.
Being close to Bor, Hingni range under territorial forest is beaming with wildlife but due to bad management and alleged negligence by staff, things are going haywire.
Two incidents best explains field staff negligence. Since March 5, a full-grown tiger was being sighted near. It is preying on domestic pigs, but expect for issuing directions to locals, no steps were taken to monitor the carnivore.
Similarly, on March 21, casual approach of the staff led to alleged poisoning of at least 22-25 peacocks nearnear Salai Pevath outside Bor. However, only two were shown dead on record. Primary offence report (POR) was not filed nor post mortem was conducted to ascertain the cause of death.
Wardha deputy conservator of forests (DyCF) Pravin Chavan said, “The report of 22 peacock deaths is false. Only two peacocks died. We could not conduct post mortem as veterinary doctor was not available,” said Chavan.
Chavan said three leopard cubs found on Sunday in a cane farm will be reunited with the mother. He admitted that large-scale sugarcane farms around Bor are turning breeding grounds for leopards.
A study on human-leopard conflict called ‘Project Waghoba’ carried out by a Pune-based NGO Kaati group in Ahmednagar, Junnar, Chandrapur, Kolhapur, Jalgaon and Mumbai has found that sugarcane farms prove good food and hiding places for leopards.
“A similar situation may be witnessed around Bor in years to come,” warned G B Mahure, a young wildlife activist working for Srushti, a wildlife protection NGO.
“Bor and New Bor sanctuaries, both 124 sq km, are too small to accommodate abundant wildlife and hence areas under Hingni need to be merged with wildlife territory,” Mahure said.
Rannavre says Hingni range is well irrigated due to water availability from Bor. Bor running short of space for animals is one reason, but there is also disturbance of fishermen at the lakeside even during night, adjoining farms prove good resting places for carnivores. They also get easy prey here.
“Sighting of animals to locals is frequent around Bor. On Saturday, a guard sighted a tiger in an explosive factory near Hingni,” Rannavre said.
On the contrary, M S Reddy, chief conservator of forests (CCF) and field director of Pench, says water arrangement in Bor is good. “Due to better protection animals have increased and they are moving out of the protected area to fringes is not something new. We anticipate similar protection support from the territorial staff too.”
By day, the western India town of Akole is a bustling farming community, surrounded by millet and sugar cane fields. By night, however, leopards stroll down the main street and quietly lick their paws on porches.
It’s no secret that there are leopards in town, but now, the big cats’ nightlife has been caught on camera, and wildlife experts are marveling at how well leopards and humans are adapting to each other.
Over the course of just one month, 37 hidden cameras around Akole, set up by Vidya Athreya, a researcher with Wildlife Conservation Society-India, snapped 87 pictures of leopards as they went about their after-hours routine.
These leopards weren’t just rebellious teens who had run away from sheltering parents in the national parks, either. The cameras caught mothers with cubs and other evidence of a whole well-established leopard community living alongside humans.
Only five percent of land in India is set aside in protected areas, so this proof that even big carnivores can live in human-dominated landscapes is encouraging to conservationists who often feel helpless as they watch natural habitat being destroyed.
“I think the important message of this study is to not just discard those areas that have not traditionally been regarded as important for conservation,” says Dr. Luke Hunter, President of Panthera, the world’s leading wild cat conservation organization. “A sugar cane field is not natural leopard habitat, but they can make it work.”
Leopards can make it work, but only if people can tolerate leopards the way that leopards are tolerating people. No one can recall an instance where a human was attacked by a leopard in this area, but there is hardly any natural prey left for the big cats, besides some hares and big rodents. Leopards appear to be surviving on ferel dogs and sometimes taking goats and other small livestock.
“It’s not like in other places, where if people hear that there’s a big cat in the area they automatically go out and exterminate it without a second thought,” says Dr. Hunter. “It’s partly thanks to strict laws in India protecting wildlife, but also thanks to the religious and cultural beliefs of this community, which fosters respect and tolerance for leopards, even when they’re not great neighbors.”
Protected areas will always play a vital role in big cat conservation. The larger species like tigers and lions, for example, just can’t survive on the smaller prey that leopards can get by on. They need the wildlife that humans like to replace with livestock, and they potentially pose a serious danger to humans if forced to get too close.
Hopefully though, people can learn to develop land in a way that isn’t completely inhospitable to big carnivores. Leaving some natural cover like trees or bushes and letting antelope and the rest of the foundation of the food chain persist, might be the difference between dwindling populations of big cats behind fences in wildlife refuges and leopards throughout India where they belong.
The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. It can run at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour (113 kilometers an hour).
An adult lion‘s roar can be heard up to five miles (eight kilometers) away.
Long, muscular hind legs enable snow leopards to leap seven times their own body length in a single bound.
A tiger’s stripes are like fingerprints—no two animals have the same pattern.
The strongest climber among the big cats, a leopard can carry prey twice its weight up a tree.
The Amur leopard is one of the most endangered animals in the world.
In one stride, a cheetah can cover 23 to 26 feet (7 to 8 meters).
The name “jaguar” comes from a Native American word meaning “he who kills with one leap.”
In the wild, lions live for an average of 12 years and up to 16 years. They live up to 25 years in captivity.
The mountain lion and the cheetah share an ancestor.
Cheetahs do not roar, as the other big cats do. Instead, they purr.
Tigers are excellent swimmers and do not avoid water.
A female Amur leopard gives birth to one to four cubs in each litter.
Fossil records from two million years ago show evidence of jaguars.
Lions are the only cats that live in groups, called prides. Every female within the pride is usually related.
The leopard is the most widespread of all big cats.
Mountain lions are strong jumpers, thanks to muscular hind legs that are longer than their front legs.
Tigers have been hunted for their skin, bones, and other body parts, used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Unlike other cats, lions have a tuft of hair at the end of their tails.
After humans, mountain lions have the largest range of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere.
The report prepared by Biologist and Principal Researcher Vidya Athreya, along with Forest department officials, as a part of the ‘Mumbaikars for SGNP’ was finally made public on Thursday. The report has brought some shocking facts to the fore, one of which was the main reason behind increasing number of leopard attacks in Aarey Colony could be attributed to the presence of 700 stray dogs on its premises. In addition, big cat images captured by setting camera traps revealed there were 21 leopards in Borivli national park and Aarey Colony.
Experts say most of the attacks that took place in Aarey were because of human error, and if people minimise dumping of garbage, then it would be possible to avert such incidents. File pic
The report also provided answers to the questions raised by a few experts about leopards leaving forests and entering human settlement in search of prey due to shortage in the forest. A study of herbivores suggested that overall population of chital and sambar, natural prey of leopard, was abundant in the central, southern and western part of the park. The report also stated low density of wild pig and four-horned antelope in the park.
Athreya said, “A minimum of 21 adult leopards were identified using camera trap images in SGNP and the surrounding areas of Aarey Colony. We also did a study on the dog population, which provides easy prey base to leopards, and was estimated in and around Aarey Colony through direct visual count. The area has high density of approximate 57 dogs per sq km. Occurrence of fire, followed by local collection of wood, grass and fruits among others, seemed to be the most common forms of human disturbance and therefore the park management may need to address these threats first. It is recommended that positive human presence (forest department and wildlife viewers) be increased in the northern and eastern parts of the park.”
Later, mediapersons were briefed on the biodiversity of the national park and were taken for a visit to Tulsi lake and sites of leopard attack in Aarey Colony. After visiting the sites, experts pointed out that leopard attacks in Aarey could be reduced if the area is kept clean, and people avoid going in to bushes after dark to answer nature’s call. Wildlife Expert Krishna Tiwari, “Most of the attacks that took place in Aarey were because of human mistake, as people who were attacked by leopards were usual in a crouching position. If dumping of garbage and cattle carcasses is stopped, then we can avert leopard attacks.”
The issue of trapping leopards was also mulled and experts said forest department trapping big cats was not a good idea, as it would only worsen the human-leopard conflict. Athreya said, “Whenever an animal from one area is captured, another animal comes and occupies it space. Research done in the past has shown that translocation of animal or releasing the trapped animal at another location only worsens the issue in the area where the animal is released.”
Mumbaikars for SGNP Project
This yearlong project was initiated primarily to address the human-leopard conflict in SGNP. It was a collaborative effort between the Forest Department, Centre for Wildlife Studies (Bangalore) and members of civil society to try and understand more about the conflict and plan for future mitigatory actions to ease the problem in terms of management/research action and policy. The project had set tasks like obtaining baseline data on number of leopards in SGNP, assessing prey population, both wild and domestic, identifying patterns of conflict to derive logical explanations, assessing stakeholders’ perception and dissemination of the research findings among stakeholders.
|Published: Friday, Feb 22, 2013, 10:30 IST
By Dhaval Kulkarni | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Express news service : Sat Feb 23 2013, 02:22 hrs
The crime branch has arrested kingpin of a gang that tried to sell a leopard skin Monday. Four other members of the gang — two sons and two acquaintances of forest officers living in staff quarters inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali — were caught in the act.
The kingpin, Pankaj Patel, brother of one of the accused arrested earlier, was picked up on Thursday.
“We seized five leopard molars and an equal number of incisors and canines from Pankaj, son of a forest officer,” said joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy.
“Pankaj shot the leopard. There were two bullet holes in the skin,” he said. Police claimed the five accused had admitted to selling four leopard skins in the past for Rs 4 lakh each.
On Monday, the crime branch had arrested Raju Khaire (27), Prashant Patel (26), Tushar Bagwe (20) and Abhishek Rane (23) from Borivali (East) and seized a leopard skin they were allegedly trying to sell.
It said Patel and Bagwe were sons of forest offers and Khaire and Rane their acquaintances. All the accused have been booked under sections 39 and 51 of Wildlife Protection Act.
In a separate case, a 48-year-old man was arrested in Kurla (West) Tuesday, also trying to sell a leopard skin worth Rs 1.5 lakh. He has allegedly confessed to having acquired it from a relative in Pune. Forest department suspects the leopard was from Sahyadri Hills.
The Apex predators are an extremely vital link in our ecosystem. Without them, imbalance is caused to such a degree, that it eventually negatively effects the human population.
This project focus’s on the Tigers, Lions and the species which they umbrella (meaning without the Apex predators their existence would be seriously jeopardized if not ended), and the environment in which they live.
The Bengal Tigers of India face massive threats including, poaching, habitat loss, human encroachment, loss of prey species, and due to the habitat loss and human encroachment they face human/animal conflict.
This human/animal conflict has increased immensely in recent times.
In the first stage of the Guardian Project, Cee4life is going to try and ease this situation of human/animal conflict.
In order to help protect the animals, we must help the people. That is fact.
Villagers occupy immense areas of habitat, in and around the forests. They need the forests for fuel for their cooking, food, building items, water sources etc.
To ease this constant intrusion into the forests/animals habitat, Cee4life is striving to offer aid, incentives and education to the villagers.
Including the following:
* Solar Stoves -
Due to the burden of costs of cooking food, many villagers resort to gathering firewood inside the forests or paying for it. Through easily obtained Solar Stoves, fuel is cut by 70%, resulting in less forest intrusion, meaning less threat to the animals and the habitat.
Solar Stoves cost are approximately 11000 Indian Rupee (approx $270 AU)
* Protective Devices -
Cee4life is testing a device that may offer a form of protection to the villagers who go into the forests, whether they are alone or with a group of villagers, and who may come in contact with a Apex predator, specifically Tigers and Leopards. (Asiatic Lions included).
This device is currently at testing stage. However, it works on the effect of . Sound is a deterrent to many creatures. After ground observations, it is evident that many Tigers in India, particularly those around tourist areas, are not afraid of people, noise, cars or really anything. Animal sound sensitivity and hearing is something which we have been studying and researching and feel that we have discovered a device that would offer protection to the villagers, and therefore the animals. This testing will be conducted in situ and recorded for response while we are in India. If this is successful, then we may have found a way to help protect the human population and therefore these wonderful creatures.
Each protective device costs approx small non battery operated $13 AU and long life batter operated $30 AU
Many of the villagers of India are not able to acquire education, even in the basic form. Education is vital in order for people to understand the situations of wildlife, and many other basic’s, including human population. The education which Cee4life will attempt to cover the subject of wildlife and living in close proximity to wildlife, human behaviors which may entice a negative animal response, sustainable living including farming techniques, economical avenues for the village communities (this will depend on what the village itself offers or items that can be brought into the village). Additionally, Cee4life will attempt to include education on human population and impact on wildlife education and information.
To say that this will be a hard job, is an understatement. But it must be at least attempted.
Education costs will be approximately – $4500 AU for implementation of program and travel costs included.
* Incentives for Villagers to Protect Wildlife – Cee4life will endeavor to offer the villagers an incentive for the reporting of any wild live creature that is deemed as “dangerous”. Only when the animal is safely rescued alive will the incentive be given. These incentives can come in many forms, not just money.
Incentives cost – unlimited and incentives will vary eg: food, materials for housing, financial rewards sometimes etc.
Stage 2 – late 2013 early 2014.
*Training – The training side of the Guardian Project will be the next stage after permissions from the Government can be obtained. This training includes, wildlife protection techniques (to be elaborated upon in the future), domestic animal care both in the wild and in suburbia, safety, hygiene, computer skills, wildlife monitoring techniques etc.
Training will also “hopefully” include the development of community centers to aid in all aspects of training and to be utilized by villagers for educational, research, and village economic reasons.
Training will be elaborated upon in the near future.
Costs for training with vary, however approxiately $55000+ including community centre infrastructure and equipment. Funding for this will be ongoing.
Stage 3 – Implementation ongoing
Rescue and Rehabilitation Center for human/animal conflict animals.
In what could be the most challenging of all aspects of the Guardian Project, is the hope for development of quick response specialized teams which would be on call 24/7 to deploy into areas where a Tiger, Leopard, Lion, Bear etc is deemed as either 1. Dangerous to humans, 2. In danger of injury, 3.Injured, 4. Trapped, 5. Territorial conflicts animals, 6. Sick, 7. Or any animal, which poses a threat to the human population or the human population poses a threat to it.
This part of the Guardian Project aims to implement a rescue and rehabilitation center to hold any of the above mentioned animals in a ethical facility for the sole purpose of rehab and release back into the wild. Prior to any release, specialised teams consisting of experienced locals and members of Cee4life and any other NGO’s and professionals, will thoroughly research a safe release area. This part of the Guardian Project will be ongoing as there is alot to this, and it is urgently needed.
Costs for training and equipment – approximately $100000+ – funding raising willl be ongoing
As with all of this, it sounds wonderful, however nothing is possible without the finances to do this.
Within Thailand, there are a great deal of animals that are used for tourism. Many of these creatures endure very unethical care.
Thailand is also a country where the wildlife trade of animals occurs frequently.
Over the last 6 years, Cee4life has been trying to educate tourists to Thailand who intend on visiting captive animals, to choose and support the ethical places to visit and not to visit places of obvious exploitation.
Here is a recent documentary filmed with SBS Dateline and Cee4life director Sybelle Foxcroft – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGD_p8HX2Vo
We have been able to liaise with Thai Animal Rights Group, A Call to Animal Rights and intend on building our connections with them to help spread the education further into the Thai community.
Animals are heavily relied upon by some people for their income, so extreme sensitivity and good communication skills are vital for this. Cee4life is going to attempt to do this with the help of our Thai friends and liaison with the Thai Government.
Within Thailand, there is an estimated 200 Indochinese Tigers left in the wild. The main cause of their disappearance is the wildlife trade.
The sad fact of the matter is that there are many people who do not understand the importance the Apex predators role is in regard to ecological balance. We will attempt to address this issue on an educational basis also.
We are also hoping to attend the CITES convention in March 2013 where the issues mentioned above and more will be discussed, and with hope, we can find a way to ease the pressure off the Tigers.
With all of this work, we are aiming for the Thai and Indian people to join in and carrying the employee load. It is very important to have the support from in country people in order for the education and the work to spread.
We are seeking funding on a variety of levels including, sponsorship, Government grants, and donations.
If you can donate, please go to the registered Charity “Wildlife Calling” http://www.wildlifecalling.org.uk/index.php where you can donate via bank account or via paypal. On your donation, please stimpulate Cee4life Guardian. All donations within UK and tax agreement countries are tax deductable.
For any sponsorship offers please contact either – email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a massive undertaking and very ambitious. However, these things are vitally needed and if we dont try to make a start to remedy or even stem some of these situations occurring with our wildlife, then we will loose many species.
Cee4life is dedicated to do this for the endurance or until we can save lives, both human and animals.
I hope you will support our efforts, and I look forward to some of you joining us.
and all of the Cee4life team.
Talk about Leopard and people usually think of them in the savannas of Africa but in the Russian Far East, a rare subspecies Amur Leopard, has adapted to life in the harsh, cold climates. It is also known as Far Eastern Leopard, Korean Leopard, and Manchurian Leopard.
Similar to other Leopards, the Amur Leopard can run at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour. It can leap more than 19 feet horizontally and up to 10 feet vertically. It differs from other subspecies by a thick coat which can grow as long as 7 cm in winters. This coat is fairly soft with long and dense hair. They are rather small in size ranging from 107 to 136 cm with a tail length of 82 to 90 cm and a shoulder height of 64 to 78 cm. In weight males ranges from 32.2-48 kg and females from 25-42.5 kg.
The Amur Leopard is nimble-footed, strong, and solitary and is active mainly during the night. It has been reported that some males stay with females after mating, and may even help with rearing the young. They live up to 10-15 years and in captivity up to 20 years.
☛ Amur Leopard once ranged from northeastern (“Manchurian”) China, including Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces throughout the Korean Peninsula. The species range in Russia was dramatically reduced during the seventies, losing about 80% of its former range.
☛ They are confined more to places where wild Sika deer live or where deer husbandry is practised. In winter they keep it to the snow-free rocky slopes facing south.
☛ Today, the Amur Leopard inhabits about 5,000 sq. km. The last remaining population, estimated 20-25 individuals, is found in a small area in the Russian Province of Primorsky Krai, between Vladivostok and the Chinese border. In China, only 7-12 scattered individuals are estimated to remain.
☛ The official North Korean government web portal reported in 2009 that there were some Leopards in Myohyangsan Nature Reserve located in Hyangsan County. It is likely to be the southernmost living group of Amur Leopard.
► FEEDS ON
☛ Amur Leopards are skillful hunters, stalking their prey to within a striking distance of few meters and feeding opportunistically on a wider range of animals.
☛ They normally hunt at night and need large territories to avoid competition for prey.
☛ They ambush their prey using a burst energy reaching speeds of up to 35 mph and then carry and hide unfinished kills, sometimes up trees, so that they are not taken by other predators.
☛ They feed mainly on Hares, Badgers, Roe deer and Sika deer.
► STATUS & THREATS
☛ The Amur Leopard is classified as Critically Endangered since 1996 by IUCN.
☛ The results from population monitoring in 2011 suggests that, there are only 40 individuals left. The Amur Leopard probably went extinct in the wild in South Korea in late 1960s.
☛ The Amur Leopard has been systematically hunted out of most of its former range for its coat and for the bones that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
☛ There are still large tracts of suitable habitat left across the Amur in Russia and China. In China the prey base is insufficient to sustain large populations of Leopards and tigers. For the Amur Leopard to survive for the long term, it needs to recover prey populations.
☛ The tiny population that survives today is under extreme risk of extinction; genetic variation is low in small populations and they are extremely vulnerable to any chance event such as an epidemic or large wild fire.
☛ In addition a variety of proposed economic development, including the building or an oil pipeline, threatens the last wilderness refuge of these big cats.
► CONSERVATION EFFORTS
☛ Amur Leopards are listed on CITES Appendix I, prohibiting all commercial trade in the species.
☛ An area in China’s Jilin province has recently been set aside for the creation of a National Park, in order to safeguard the remnant population of these threatened big cats.
☛ WWF supports anti-poaching work in all Amur Leopard habitats in the Russian Far East and in known Leopard localities in northeast China.
☛ Amur Leopards received a safe haven in 2012 when the government of Russia declared a new protected area called Land of the Leopard National Park. This marked a major effort to save the world’s rarest cat.
☛ The Amur Leopard is important ecologically, economically and culturally. Conservation of its habitat benefits other species, including Amur Tigers and prey species like deer. With the right conservation efforts, we can bring them back and ensure long-term conservation of the region.
TNN | Feb 8, 2013, 10.42 PM IST
A female leopard was caged when it entered with its cubs a private farm in Sarkadiya village of Maliya-Hatina taluka of Junagadh on February 6. The wild cat was sent to Sasan animal care centre. However, the leopard cubs had gone missing from the spot. They were spotted inside a cave on the outskirts of the village on Thursday evening. The cubs have now been reunited with their mother at Sasan animal care centre, sources said.
MUMBAI: A 10-year-old boy, Saurabh Yadav, was mauled to death by a leopard on Saturday at Adarsh Nagar in Aarey. This is the sixth death due to a leopard attack in Mumbai in the past seven months. Saurabh had gone to attend nature’s call with his friend around 7.30pm when the animal dragged him inside the forest. His friend started screaming for help. The police later recovered Saurabh’s mauled body.
“The area falls under Thane forest jurisdiction. There is a cheap paid public toilet, but locals invite trouble by squatting in the open. They also strew garbage around, which attracts pigs and dogs, easy prey for leopards,” said Santosh Saste, assistant conservator of forests (vigilance), Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).
Jalpesh Mehta, founder, Empower Foundation, who has been working on SGNP’s man-animal conflict, said that early Saturday morning they got a call from tribals informing them that a female leopard was trapped inside Aarey Milk Colony’s Mataipada.
“It was a female leopard. We were told there was a male leopard roaring in the periphery of the area. We transported the female leopard to SGNP. Our team has been tracking it through its droppings, pug marks and regular information from locals. Even as we surmised that the leopards were in search of food, we got a call that a boy was attacked,” said Mehta.
Today most people are more likely to associate Yemen with warfare and bizarre terrorism plots rather than wildlife. But Yemen is home to a surprising diversity of animals, including a population of the world’s smallest leopard: The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr).
Native to the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian leopard is today extremely rare — less than 200 animals are thought to survive in the wild. Despite the cat’s precarious position, there is relatively little local enthusiasm to protect a species that is widely seen as a threat to livestock.
Nevertheless one man in Yemen is trying to boost the value of leopard in the eyes of local people. David Stanton, an American teacher living in Yemen, had devoted his life to saving the Arabian leopard across its range.
Now a new film tells Stanton’s story. Written and directed by Guardian journalist and correspondent Kevin Rushby and long-time film producer Richard Johns, Saving the Leopard follows Stanton as he travels with a group of young Yemenis to Oman to train them in leopard conservation.
Saving the Leopard is debuting February 2, 2013 at the 3rd Annual New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival. Ahead of its premiere, Rushby answered some questions from Mongabay.com about the film and his career, which has included television production and presenting, travel writing and reporting, and authorship of several books. Rushby is an Arabic speaker who has covered the Middle East for 20 years, including stints living and working in Yemen and Sudan.
The deaths of five women in recent attacks by tigers in Navegaon National Park in Vidarbha’s Gondia district is another wake-up call. Over the past seven years, Vidarbha has emerged as the world’s biggest man-tiger, man-leopard conflict zone, with nearly 100 human deaths and 80 major injuries. Of revenge killings of big cats by humans there is no record — both killers and wildlife administrators have reasons to hush it up.
The first major man-animal conflagration in Vidarbha dates to 2007, the year in which this paper began to track the phenomenon closely. At least 21 humans were killed by tigers and leopards that year, and a male tiger that had killed four persons and injured several others within a month was shot dead at Talodhi, probably the first such ‘retaliation’ in the post-conservation era.
In 2008, 2011 and 2012, similar incidents forced four shoot orders, three of which were for leopards in Chandrapur district. Last year, 12 persons were killed in tiger and leopard attacks in Vidarbha.
Conflict occurs in human-dominated ‘sink’ landscapes to which tigers disperse after breeding in protected ‘source’ areas. The management of this conflict demands extremely competent handling, not just by wildlife administrators but by other stakeholders too, including pro-people NGOs. There are often no bridges between forest officials and the people — a disconnect which is starkly evident when, mauled by maneaters, people vent their anger against the department.
Accepting the animals’ right to the forest is still a far cry, the common refrain being ‘Please take your animal away’. People are becoming impatient not just with the carnivore that occasionally kills but also with the herbivore that routinely feasts on their fields. Revenge killings of animals are routine, as is hunting for cheap meat which the entire village shares and no one talks about. Gadchiroli, which has the most forest cover in the state has virtually no wildlife.
Leaving the forest administration to gram sabhas as envisaged by the Forest Rights Act will continue to sound romantic until people share the responsibility towards wildlife. It is time the principle of positive discrimination is applied to wildlife too. Till that happens, effective monitoring and conservation of wildlife, and minimising the need for people to intrude into the forest for livelihood can be effective interventions.
Vivek is a senior editor based in Nagpur
By Leon Watson
PUBLISHED: 10:12 GMT, 31 December 2012 | UPDATED: 18:49 GMT, 31 December 2012
This leopard shows that he’s got fangnam style by flashing his teeth while dancing to attract a mate.
The leopard looks like he’s doing the moves from popular music video Gangnam Style, by standing on his back legs and dancing.
The leopard tries to impress his mate who is rolling around in the long grass.
The incredible pictures were taken by photographer Mohammed Alnaser, 34, in the Londolozi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands, South Africa.
He said: ‘Our ranger was informed about those mating leopards while we were taking photos of a pride of lions nearby so we rushed into the scene but it seemed that they were having a rest by the time we arrived, so it took us around another 30 minutes before they started mating again.
‘The male is quite young and ‘inexperienced’ as the ranger is quite familiar with both the male and female and we were told that he wasn’t doing it right as he kept on jumping around being very careful with the female’s reaction.
‘It was the first time in my life to see mating leopard and it was very intense and interesting as we spent time watching them as they mated around five or seven times in our presence.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2255190/Fangnam-style-Leopard-tries-impress-mate-bizarre-ritual-looks-just-look-Psy-doing-gangnam.html#ixzz2GkcyJ4mS
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
By Pinak Priya Bhattacharya, TNN | Dec 23, 2012, 06.24 AM IST
JALPAIGURI: An adult female leopard that had strayed out of the forest was lynched by villagers barely 10 km from Jalpaiguri town on Saturday afternoon. The villagers killed the animal with bamboo staffs and other weapons even as helpless foresters stood watching, vastly outnumbered by the incensed mob.
The incident took place at Premganj village under Paharpur panchayat. The leopard was spotted first around 9.30am by brothers Amal and Bimal Mondol who had crossed the Teesta, which flows by the village, to go to their agricultural field. The animal was lying on the bank.
Before they could realize that it was a leopard, the big cat pounced on them and left them injured.
The leopard had probably taken shelter in a nearby tea garden, said foresters. The bushes in the garden provide natural cover for these animals which often treat the drains as their hiding place, especially when the females are about to give birth. The heap of leaves in the drains act as natural cushion for the big cats and this attracts the animals to the gardens.
Amal and Bimal, though injured, managed to row get back to their boat and row back to their village and were rushed to Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital where they are undergoing treatment. But the incident triggered panic among the villagers.
As soon as foresters were informed, they arrived with the wildlife squad and tranquillisers. They crossed the river, in a boat and spotted the leopard on the other side, and even darted it once. But the leopard attacked the foresters, too, leaving two of them injured.
Taking no further risk, the boatman turned the boat around. But the leopard leapt at the boat and clung on to a rope hanging from the boat and dashed into the village That way, it reached the other side of the river and as soon as the boat got close to the shore, it dashed into the village. By then, the villagers had armed themselves with lathis and bamboo staffs. They chased the frightened animal, surrounded it and beat it to death, . The animal was already drowsy due to the effects of the sedative and could not escape the villagers. The villagers lynched it right in front of foresters.
“We could do nothing as the villagers were baying for the animal’s blood. We were far outnumbered by them,” said a senior forest official.
The incident occurred around 9 am this morning when two students, who were on their way to the Petroleum University on a motorcycle, suddenly encountered a leopard crossing the road.
They got nervous and hit the big cat, killing it on the spot, they said.
The students also received minor injuries in the incident as they fell from the bike after it knocked down the leopard, they said.
They were rushed to a nearby hospital from where they were discharged after first aid.
The carcass of the leopard has been handed over to Forest Department officials, police added.
Dec 19, 2012 14:21 Moscow Time
Photo: RIA Novosti
As of today, there are about 50 species in Russia, the head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said addressing the meeting of the Eurasian centre for studying and restoring the leopard population.
Four new female leopards have been spotted in the area recently, scientists say.
10 December 2012 Last updated at 14:45 ET
Footage of a Sunda clouded leopard, one world’s most rare and elusive cats, has been captured by a biologist on holiday in Malaysia.
Dr Jyrki Hokkanen, a wildlife videographer, spoke to BBC World to explain how he came across the young female leopard, which was resting in the forest.
By A staff reporter | http://www.telegraphindia.com – Sun 30 Sep, 2012
Sivasagar, Sept. 29: Two female leopard cubs were killed at Khoragarh village in Kalugaon under Amguri police station of Sivasagar district last night. The incident comes when the state is already in a rage over rhino killings.
District assistant conservator of forests Gunin Saikia said today, “Yesterday, a female leopard had entered a bamboo clump in the village with her cubs and killed a cow. The villagers, while handing over the carcasses to us this morning, told us that dogs had chased down the cubs and killed them. We have sent them for post mortem.” Sources said the villagers had killed the cubs, hanged the carcasses from a bamboo pole and then displayed them in a stall.
Asked about the mother, Saikia said she would most likely desert the area when she does not find her cubs.
He said the villagers had not informed the forest department about any attack by leopards. “We were not aware that leopards were frequenting the area and killing cattle, as it is quite far (7km) from any forest,” he said.
A source said there have been leopard attacks in the village and the department had even caught one once. The animals frequent a stream flowing closeby and sometimes enter it in search of food.
In order to mitigate the rising human-leopard conflict in Uttarakhand, the State Forest Department has proposed building water holes and increasing fodder in affected areas to attract the wild herbivores which constitute the natural prey base of the leopard. It is worth mentioning here that since October this year at least seven people have been killed by leopards while three leopards have been killed and one captured by the department after being declared man-eaters.
Though human leopard conflict is not new to Uttarakhand, the problem has been rising since the formation of the State and resulting developments. The forest department has had plans for some years now to tackle the rising human-wildlife conflict. However, wildlife activists point out that the department has done little more than drafting and discussing plans while the conflict situation has continued to deteriorate.
Talking to The Pioneer, the State chief wildlife warden SS Sharma said that the department has various measures either planned or proposed to mitigate the conflict between human and the spotted cat. “We have proposed to build water holes and encourage an increase in fodder so that deer and other herbivores are attracted to such places. By boosting the presence of the natural prey base of the leopard, we believe the big cat will avoid human settlements which will make life safer for both the villagers and their cattle. In addition to this we are raising public awareness in areas experiencing the conflict. We are telling the people to not venture outdoors alone in dark hours but to move in at least small groups and to remain alert outdoors,” said Sharma.
Widlife activists also point out that the human-leopard conflict is not only creating problems for the humans but is also a major factor responsible for the poaching of the feline. They point out that the department’s drafting of plans has not helped either the humans or the leopards in Uttarakhand with at least 25 leopard pelt seizures in this year apart from which 52 leopard deaths have also been recorded in 2012 so far. Since creation of Uttarakhand in 2000, more than 200 people while more than 600 leopard deaths from different causes have been recorded.
By Cheri Cheng
There have been recent killings linked to a dangerous leopard in Nepal. According to the officials, the leopard has killed 15 people over a time span of 15 months in the area of Western Nepal. All of the victims resided in the outer villages that are significantly closer to the lush forests. The most recent killing was a four-year old boy, whose head was found within a kilometer, less than a mile, from his house. The discovery of the young boy was the last straw for the local administration, which is granting permission for locals to kill the leopard.
The local police chief believes that the leopard is responsible for eating all of its victims based on the fact that only small parts of the victims’ bodies have been found. The leftover pieces indicate that something must have bitten them. The victims have only included children, young adults, and one 29-year old woman.
The chief believes that the leopard kills the victims first and then drags the bodies deep into the forest to eat. However, there is no concrete evidence that the leopard is fully responsible. In addition, since there have been a lot of victims, other people are fearful that there may be two man-eating creatures living in the forests. However, the presence of two man-eating predators is very rare, thus the murder of this single leopard is encouraged.
Killing the leopard is definitely the easier option, but it is also crueler and lazier. Of course, killing a wild and bloodthirsty animal is not a simple task, but it is definitely a desired task for people seeking revenge. The leopard, which is normally protected under the nation’s laws which do not allow the killing of wild animals, is now being hunted by armed officials. There is also a reward of $300 for the person or persons who kill the animal.
The district believed that murdering the animal is their last resort. They state that leopards within the area are known to kill cattle but not humans so a human victim is seen as extreme. The accidents have been highly unfortunate for the Nepalese community, but that does not mean murder can be acceptable.
There are other measures that can be taken, such as forbidding young adults and children from entering these forests. In addition, if the leopard continues to kill the administration can consider capturing the animal and relocating it to a different area, which is not ideal and should be the last resort. Demand that alternative solutions to killing this animal are considered and acted upon.
Dear Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai,
The recent killings by a leopard in Western Nepal are unfortunate and tragic. The local police chief believes that a single leopard is responsible for killing and eating at least 15 victims over the span of 15 months. All of the victims have been children and young adults, with the exception of one adult woman. The most recent victim was a four-year-old boy whose head was found near his own home. Local administration has decided to authorize the killing of the animal.
Although there have been a lot of victims, murdering the animal is horrifying, especially when there are other options available. First off, children and young adults should not be able to venture into the forests alone. Second, the leopard can be captured and transported to another are or a zoo where it can continue to live.
Please do not let the locals murder the leopard.
[Your Name Here]
In the last 12 months, at least six persons, mostly children, have been mauled to death by leopards. The victims are mostly migrant labourers, who come from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for sugarcane cutting.
There are at least 6,000 migrant families who come and stay in nearly 104 villages of Veraval and Sutrapada talukas, where sugarcane is grown. There are at least 20 leopards stalking the area.
According to officials, the migrants mostly stay in open fields which makes them more vulnerable to attacks by wild animals.
“We have been going to labourers to make them aware about the possible conflict with wildlife where they make their makeshift huts. We tell them to either sleep to inside the huts or create fencing around the huts which may help them ward off the attacks,” range forest officer, Veraval range, B V Padsala said.
Also, the staple food of most migrants is fish and its smell attracts the wild cats. “Labour contractors do not provide safe and adequate accommodation to these migrants,” a senior forest official said.
PUBLISHED: 12:52 GMT, 26 October 2012 | UPDATED: 15:35 GMT, 26 October 2012
This is the moment a leopard grabbed her cub by the scruff of his neck to drag it out of a den where it had hid from a predator.
The cute creature poked his nose out of the hollowed-out termite mound when his mum returned from a hunting trip.
After emerging fully from the den the mischievous cub was so excited to see her that he tried to play with her.
But, after a night out hunting, she was in no mood to play and so picked him up in her mouth and dumped him on the ground.
Wildlife photographer Grant Atkinson captured the moment on camera during a trip to the Linyati River in Botswana.
Grant, 44, said: “We were following a female leopard through some woodland and saw her move into a clearing.
‘After a while she stopped at the entrance to an old burrow in the side of a termite mound and very slowly a little cub emerged.
‘Eventually it came out. She groomed it and then moved to the back towards the mound but the cub followed her and began to play.
‘In the end she picked it up by the neck and then carried it right across the clearing.
‘She put it in a new hiding place, in an old fallen tree stump.
‘The cub finally went inside and the mother leopard lay on top of another fallen stump.’
Asiatic cheetahs are one of the rarest mammals in the world, ranked the second more endangered cats in the world, chasing the Amur leopard. Desert and arid lands of eastern half of Iran hosts these elusive animals which despite of some 10 years ago, today are considered as one of the most intensively studied species in Iran. However, everybody should think about bringing research in balance with action.
A mixture of Christianity and Zulu culture, the Shembe is one of the biggest traditional religious groups in South Africa with around 5 million members. There are fears from conservationists that as the church grows, Africa‘s leopards, already listed as “near threatened” by the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will be pushed towards extinction.
India lost about 40 tigers this year alone, mostly due to poaching. 11 Indian rhinos were poached in 2012. Almost four leopards are poached every week, suggests a new study, which points that almost 2,300 leopards were lost in the last ten years.
India’s only Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LACONES) in Hyderabad does a lot of forensic work related to animal poaching. It helps positively identify the poached animal, since – like in the case of deer, where meat is used in cooking – the sample visually may not suggest if it is mutton or a wild animal, but the laboratory can run specific DNA tests that reveal the genetic finger print, helping nail down criminals involved in poaching.
Nikhil M Ghanekar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 12, 2012
Work on the state’s first leopard safari, at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, is expected to start early next year. This week, authorities of the national park sent the final master layout plan of the safari to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and are hoping to get the final approval in December.
The idea of a leopard safari was mooted to create an open space for the 22 captive leopards housed in a leopard orphanage inside SGNP. This orphanage houses man-eating leopards, injured and old leopards, and those that were trapped after straying into human habitats.
Presently, these leopards are kept in separate enclosures of 110sq ft. The leopard safari will be located in a 20-hectare area inside SGNP, adjacent to the existing Lion and Tiger safari. The total area occupied by the three safaris will be 100 hectares. These barb-wired enclosures will be around 50-feet high.
“The leopards will be released in the safari area in the morning. We will release 3 to 4 leopards at a time and create a separate feeding area for them. They will be brought back to the enclosures at night,” said Sunil Limaye, director, SGNP.
Limaye added, “Once we get the final approval from CZA, we will carry out the detailed budgeting. Following that, construction of the enclosures will begin.”
The safari will also have dense tree cover so that leopards can climb up to rest. The captive leopards will shift to their new and bigger orphanage by March. Each orphanage enclosure will be around 165 sq.ft in size while there will also be a separate exercise area created for the leopards. The leopards will be released in the safari from their orphanage enclosures.
Experts said that a leopard safari will give more breathing space for the leopards. “The present enclosures are not really great and leopards should not be kept in captivity forever. But, the leopards should not be released in large numbers as they do not usually move in groups,” said Vidya Athreya, wildlife biologist with Center for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore.
INDORE: With an increasing number of deaths of leopard in last few years due to poaching and man-animal conflicts, Madhya Pradesh government is now contemplating to come up with a separate conservation plan for the wild cat on lines of tiger. Currently, entire focus is laid only on tiger conservation even as leopard remain off the radar.
According to records with the forest department of the state, around 150 leopards have been killed in last four and half years due to poaching or some other reasons and this is three times the number of deaths of tiger in the same period. Of the 150 deaths, maxim 43 deaths were recorded in 2011 alone.
Principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) R K Dave said, “Leopard is very much in danger and needs attention. It is in danger as it stays near human habitat and is the one wild animal which comes in regular conflict with human being.” He added that as of now, there is no programme for the conservation of leopards but there is realization at union and state level that leopard needs immediate attention.
Dave, who was in the city to participate in a range-level sports contest of Van Samiti on Saturday, believes that there should be conservation plans for leopard too and efforts should be made to start a programme from the next financial year. “Department have funds for conservation of wild animals which is being spent. But there is possibility that a separate fund can be created for leopard conservation,” he added.
Environmentalists believe that leopard is paying price due to conflicts with humans over forest. “Unlike tiger, leopard is a wild animal which stays near human habitat and always comes in direct conflict with human being. Many reports have come up about leopards foraying in urban places or villages and getting injured or killed,” he said adding that the department will start an awareness programme to save leopards.
Published October 9, 2012
The snow leopard in Pakistan is an endangered species. The population of the rarely seen big cat has likely fallen to fewer than 450 in the country, mainly due to hunting. Now an expert has come up with an unconventional—and controversial—proposal to save the snow leopard: Classify it as a domesticated animal.
That doesn’t mean that snow leopards are literally tame, like a chicken, explained Shafqat Hussain, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer who spoke during the National Geographic Explorers Symposium in Washington, D.C., in June: “When I say that snow leopards are like domestic cats, I mean it rhetorically to make contrast with the word wild.” (National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.)
His idea stems from the changing relationship between snow leopards and humans. Where the cats do remain in the Himalaya, they increasingly share their habitat with mountain herders. A 2010 study of snow leopard scat found that up to 70 percent of the species’ diet in the Gilgit Baltistan Province (map) comes from sheep, cattle, and other domestic animals. Some herders have killed snow leopards in retaliation for preying on their livestock. (See pictures and video of snow leopards in Afghanistan.)
Given the snow leopards’ diet, “how do we see these mythical, elusive wild animals? Are they really wild in the sense that of meaning we attach to the word wild—existing on its own, having no connection with society and domestic economy?” Hussain said.
So the way to enable snow leopards to survive, says Hussain, is not to create protected areas that sequester them from local communities. That solution often alienates farmers, who lose their grazing areas as a result. He would suggest supporting local herders instead so they can make a living despite snow leopard incursions. (See snow leopard pictures in National Geographic magazine.)
And that’s exactly what he’s been doing for more than a decade. In 1999 Hussain founded the Snow Leopard Project, an insurance scheme that compensates local people in snow leopard-range countries if their livestock are killed by the predators.
Various branches of the successful project, which is jointly managed by project officials and a committee of villagers, have spread to 400 households covering 3,000 animals across central Asia.
Since 1998, close to U.S. $7,000 has been paid out in compensation for lost animals, and $13,000 invested on improving livestock corrals and other infrastructure. Meanwhile, the snow leopard population seems to have remained stable, if not grown, Hussain said.
Snow Leopard Perspective Controversial
Not everyone agrees. In fact, there is great consternation in the big-cat conservation community about Hussain’s ideas, particularly that conservation groups don’t work with locals. (Learn about National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.)
Tom McCarthy, executive director of the Snow Leopard Program for the big-cat conservation group Panthera, said that he doesn’t “know a single conservation [nongovernmental organization] working on snow leopards today that would support setting up reserves for the cats at the expense of local people.”
For example, before Hussain set up the Snow Leopard Project, McCarthy and colleagues founded the award-winning Snow Leopard Enterprises, which helps local people in snow leopard countries generate income.
Conservation biologist and snow leopard expert Jerry Roe also said by email that relabeling the snow leopard as domestic will not resolve the conflict between snow leopards and herders or benefit the species.
For one, “a change of definition will not alter the perspective of snow leopards as a pest species in the eyes of herders,” said Roe, co-founder of California-based Nomad Ecology, an ecological consulting and research company.
Living With Snow Leopards
Hussain thinks the objections are just not valid. Local people—at least in Pakistan—do not have an “atavistic enmity to snow leopards, [nor] this itch to kill it,” he said. “If they get compensated for their losses, they have no interest in eliminating this animal.”
Such is the case with Mohammed Ibrahim, chairman of Skoyo Krabathang Basingo Conservation and Development Organization in Krabathang, Pakistan (map), who also owns 15 goats. In a phone interview with an Urdu interpreter, Ibrahim said that he’s not worried about snow leopards, mostly because of insurance schemes such as Project Snow Leopard that compensate herders for lost animals.
And since snow leopards have never been known to attack people, Hussain is confident that his scheme would work far better than a conservation policy that separates the leopards from the locals: “The idea of co-existing with snow leopards is easy to implement if you satisfy the villagers.”
Ultimately, conservationists share the same goal: Ensuring that the snow leopard—what Hussain calls a “symbol of the high mountains”—can survive. Whether that will continue to be an animal dependent on people for food, though, is still up in the air.
Four Leopards a week enter India’s illegal wildlife trade
September 2012. At least four Leopards have been poached every week for at least 10 years in India, and their body parts sold by the illegal wildlife trade, according to TRAFFIC‘s latest study “Illuminating the Blind Spot: A study on illegal trade in Leopard parts in India” launched by Dr Divyabhanusinh Chavda, President, WWF-India.
420 leopard skins seized
The study documents a total of 420 seizures of Leopard skins, bones and other body parts reported from 209 localities in 21 out of 35 territories in India during 2001-2010. Statistical analysis is used to estimate the additional levels of “undetected trade” and concludes that around 2294 Leopards were trafficked in India during the period-an average of four animals per week over the 10 year period.
Leopards are fully protected under India’s domestic legislation, and commercial international trade is banned under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
“TRAFFIC’s objective analysis has cast new light onto the sheer scale of the illicit trade in Leopard parts in India, which has hitherto been overshadowed by the trade in another of the country’s national icons, the Tiger,” said Dr Chavda at the launch of the report.
“Without an effective strategy to assess and tackle the threats posed by illegal trade, the danger is that Leopard numbers may decline rapidly as happened previously to the Tiger” he further added.
Uttarakhand and Delhi at the centre of the trade
Uttarakhand emerged as a major source of Leopard parts in trade, while Delhi was found to be a major epicenter of the illegal trade, along with adjacent areas of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
Dr Rashid Raza, Coordinator with TRAFFIC in India and the lead author of the study said: “Even though reports of illegal trade in Leopard body parts are disturbingly frequent, the level of threat to Leopards in the country has previously been unrecognized, and has fallen into our collective ‘blind spot’.”
Close to 90% of reported Leopard part seizures in India comprised solely of skins, making them the dominant body part found in illegal trade during the 10 year period. Other body parts, particularly bones, are known to be prescribed as substitutes for Tiger parts in traditional Asian medicine.
Smuggling routes to other countries
It is believed most Leopard parts are smuggled out of India to other countries in Asia, often via the porous border with neighbouring Nepal. Earlier investigations indicated many of the Leopard parts found for sale in northern Myanmar, northern Laos and the ethnic Tibetan regions of China originated from India.
The report recommends the establishment of a Task Force to tackle illegal trade in the areas identified as having the highest levels of Leopard-related crime, as well as better regional co-operation between source, transit and market countries through initiatives such as the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN).
An official database along the lines of “Tigernet”, used for Tiger conservation in India, would also help monitor the illegal Leopard part trade. Studies are also needed to assess the levels of threat from human-Leopard conflict in the country, according to the report.
Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India said: “The Leopard is among the most charismatic large animals in the world, and plays an important ecological role in the forests it inhabits”.
“Any increase in external market demand could easily lead to a decimation of Leopard numbers in India, but I am hopeful this latest analysis will provide the impetus to catalyse effective conservation action; particularly increased effectiveness of law enforcement initiatives to curtail the illegal trade in Leopard body parts”.
TRAFFIC’s work on the Leopard trade in India is supported by WWF-India and WWF-UK.
Forest officials said the cubs appeared at a human habitation at Khoragarh village creating panic among the locals.
”Our team rushed to the spot to rescue the cubs, but they were killed before we reach the spot,” said forest range officer (Sivasagar) Praneswar Das.
He added, ”On seeing the cubs, the villagers equipped with lathis and other weapons came out in large numbers and attacked the cubs. The cubs succumbed to their injuries after battling for their lives for about half-an-hour.”
He said a female leopard and her two cubs had taken shelter at Kalugaon and created panic among locals for the last one week. Villagers alleged that the mother of the cubs attacked some cattle in the area.