Almora (Uttarakhand)

A man-eater Leopard was gunned down on Tuesday morning in Raun village of Havalbagh region in the Uttarakhand state of north India. Villagers in the vicinity breathed a sigh of relief.

On March 12 at 6:30pm 11 year old Rupa, daughter of Bhuvan Ram, was attacked and taken away by this Leopard. Her half eaten body was recovered the next day. The forest department after a long procedure declared this Leopard as man-eater. Shooter Joy Whickle from Pauri was contacted for the task. After 26-days of vigilance the Leopard was finally gunned down at the same point where it killed Rupa.

The dead Leopard is a female and aged between 8 to 9 years. Her three canines – one above and two below – are broken. Her claws have deteriorated over the time. Experts tells that the inability to hunt its natural prey lead this Leopardess to become man-eater.

Bottom-line:

Is it fair to kill a man-eater? How many times we kill our old parents or even grandparents when they are incapable of doing their own things? The stupid fear of mankind and their dread of dying have lead to the imbalance amongst species. Why is it alright for man to breed, reproduce, kill and eat animals, while cats killing humans is not fair? And why there is no national level Environment and Forest policy to tackle such a situation without such harsh results? It is not impossible to lay bait and trap a man-eater animal and give them their rest of remaining life under captivity. Jairam Ramesh got no answers for such a crude situation. He must come up with something for animals in a state ruled by man-eater Tiger, Leopards and Bears as well as raging Elephants. For now we can only sit back and count the death of one more precious cat from the wilds.

Uncia Uncia

1st Snow Leopard in Uttarakhand

Here is the 1st on Snow Leopard in one of its last known habitat. The state forest department of Uttarakhand state (with cover of greater Himalayas) of India with help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) found its first Snow Leopard by the virtue of a camera trap in the Malari region of the greater Himalayas. Malari falls under the Nandadevi Biosphere reserve and is a reserved forest region. The news comes as a great relief of the state forest department as the Snow Leopards were almost extinct from the region. Local farmers and nomadic shepherd have known to poach the cat for good prices of its skin and bone, bringing it on the brink of extinction.

One of the many camera traps installed by the team of WII and state forest department captured the elusive image of Snow Leopard. The region was tipped as a habitat with high density of Leopard but those claims turned out to be incorrect. After several other clipping of Himalayan Tahr, Ibex (Bharal), Marmot and Musk Deer finally there was this cat on the camera. It was indeed a moment of joy for those who are really concerned about the status of this ghost of the mountains.

The image of the cat is breakthrough news of the local forest department as well. The legends of this cat know as ‘Him Tendua’ in Hindi has been part of stories and folklore since time immemorial. Although I heard many a stories from villagers and nomads it was the first time a conclusive evidence was reported in the state where I live.

Congrats to the SLN fraternity. Hope we get many more evidence like these.

The forest dwelling tribe of Gujjars have been given the final orders to move to their newly rehabilitated colonies within next two months. The orders comes in wake of constant movement of Gujjars in forests and their direct conflict with wildlife.Stern action will be taken if the orders are not met. A rehabilitated colony has been provided to Gujjars in Gaindikhata region. Many families have already moved to their new homes, but a handful of Dera (a whole clan) still lurks around in the park region.

So much so that Gujjars have been found involved with poaching in past and their presence in the Rajaji National Park forest has hampered the growth of natural flora as well as wildlife. Even though some intellectuals aggressively protest the allegation of poaching the locals know that for centuries Gujjars have exploited precious forest resources.

Three leopard skins – two of adults and one of a cub – were seized by the Special Task Force (STF) and Police in Dehradun after receiving intelligence reports. The gang leader managed to escape from the crime scene. The smugglers are said to be dealing with wildlife skin in international market. A locally made revolver and some bullets were also recovered from the smugglers. The arrested trios are residents of Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) and Tyuni (Uttarakhand). In the Indian market the cost of the Leopard skin is estimated at about 10,00,000 Rupees.

SSP Barinder Jeet Singh told reporters that they received insider information that Leopard skins were bound for Delhi for sale. The STF blocked a jeep and recovered three leopard skin, a local revolver, bullets and two hunting knife. A case has been registered at the Cantt Polica station against the three.

The arrested ones are:

1) Attar Singh Chauhan, village Jatasari, Jubbal, Shimla (HP)
2) Subhash Dobhal, village Katiyan, Tyuni, Dehradun
3) Mahendra Pawar, village Badiya Devdhar, Tyuni, Dehradun

The one person who was able to escape was named as Ramesh Chauhan, Jubbal, Himachal.

 

THE BOTTOMLINE

It remains to be seen that how rigorous is the law against such heinous crime. Uttarakhand always have been a hotbed for wild cats and probably the highest number pf poaching incidents happens in this northern state of India. However, cases go on for years and more likely than not the suspects goes scot-free. And back again to their hunting best. It would be interesting to see if we ever hear back about this case in local newspapers or will this be just another flash in pan.

In a horrifying incident of wildlife abuse a mob of angry villagers torched a young leopard and burnt him alive after caging the animal. Then incident happened in the Garhwal region in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. This region is home to one of the highest density of Leopards anywhere in world. As a result incident of man-eating Leopards are quite common. For century’s people in this part of the world have been fighting Leopards and Tigers and see them as their enemy. So when this mob found the helpless Leopard caught in the cage they angrily burnt the Leopard alive in the cage.

Five more people were arrested after two were held immediately after the incident. There were no comments from the forest department or the forest ministry on this incident. The region is hot-bed for poachers and hunters. People often poison or shoot Tigers and Leopards here. Reasons are simple. The region is also the in news for the killing of humans or cattle by Leopard, Tigers, Bears and Elephants.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for the news on the Tiger Census 2011 after a hiatus of three years. With 1706 estimated number of Tigers in wild – highest for any country – India increased its Tiger population to about 20% in three years.

As the news from Ministry of Environment got public few minutes it was pleasing news to ears. With an addition of 295 Tigers in wild across the 39 Tiger Reserves in the country India seems to be going on right track.

I would say good work Jairam Ramesh. Although I have deep apprehensions about the tools and technology implemented for Tiger Census 2011 it’s the best numbers to rely on. There is a lot to mull about these number released by Min of Environment & Forest and the actuality of this census.

Good thing about the census is the inclusion of Sunderbans Tiger habitat where approx 70 wild Tigers were spotted. A question to be asked is if the Jharkhand forests were also included in the Tiger Census or omitted like the previous time. Mr Jairam?

Maneater Tiger gunned down

January 28, 2011

Ramnagar (Nainital) – Uttarakhand

Combined efforts of the forest officials and local police gunned down a Tiger who had turned maneater. The Tiger last killed a youth on Wednesday. The Tiger was nabbed by a team of seven elephants and it took the official 32-rounds of ammunition to kill the poor cat.

Puran chand (28 years) was attacked and killed by this maneater Tiger when he ventured out to answer natures call in Sunderkhal adjoining Corbett Tiger Reserve. The local population sat down on an agitation and refused to budge till they (forest dept) kill the Tiger. Their anger was enough for Ramnagar Forest Department SDO Rama Kant Tiwari, forest officials and the police. They tracked down the Tiger who had come back to claim his kill from previous day. He was gunned down with 36-rounds of fire. Far too much ammunition for a single Tiger.

Another sad day when we lost one more Tiger because of humans. This time it wasn’t poaching but sheer lack of human intelligence. It shocks me to realize that humans have no clear-approach to address issues where animals turn man-eaters. Pity on you Jairam Ramesh.

 

A Leopard was found caught in a steel trap in the Raipur forest range near Dehradun within Rajaji National Park range. The Leopard was later tranquilized and taken under veterinary care by the forest department.

Nearby villagers reported this incident after they heard Leopard moaning through far distances. This was reported to the forest department who took ages to turn up before figuring out a way to work upon the situation.

After the incident was reported in morning/early afternoon the forest department was able to rescue the Leopard only by 9pm at night. Very poor standards of the department. And poor fate of the Leopard.

Published on 13-Jan-2011

An active Leopard near Anarwala and Nayagaon villages adjoining Malsi and Raipur forest range is giving sleepless time to citizens there. People are apprehensive about venturing out of their homes when the dusk descends. As a precautionary step the forest department instituted a team there to monitor the Leopards movement.

People around Nayagaon in Anarwala village have been witnessing a big 6-7 feet full-grown Leopard for past three days. On Monday the Leopard was seen lurking near the farm-fields, too close for comfort. Since then the whole village is scared. There seems like a curfew in village come evenings.

Villagers are demanding proactive active from the forest department and relieve them from this scare. A forest team is keeping an eye on the situation under Deputy Ranger Rakesh Negi. The blasted some firecrackers to scare away the Leopard. The villagers have been instructed to stay alert and to alert the forest department if they get any sighting of the Leopard.

Within hours of making her last human kill the Corbett tigress has been shot upon by the forest officials. The tigress has sustained a bullet shot on her but didn’t die immediately. She ran away into the forest and the forest plus the hunters’ party is tracking the Tigress to hunt her down and kill her. The chance of her survival is low as the team is determined to kill this ill-fated Tigress.

Another wildlife management surprise unfolds after the forest department wilts against the human demands. The forest department was under immense pressure from the villagers to kill the tigress. Ideally they should have trapped the Tigress and should have devised a plan on how to manage the future of the Tigress. Apparently, a cage was set few days ago to trap her but a different male Tiger got trapped accidentally.

The report almost means that another VERY PRECIOUS Tiger is less from the forests on Uttarakhand and India. In other words – humans have killed another one.

This is sad news and another dark day in the life & times of Tiger.

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