A news flash I just saw on local news channel indicates that two Leopard skins were seized from Uttarkashi region in Uttarakhand.

I am waiting for more updates on this news.

The local population of Ramnagar town within Corbett National Park threats demonstration if the man-eater Tigress isn’t killed soon. The Tigress is under scanner after killing fourth women in Ramnagar area. The villagers are hell-bent on killing the Tigress or threats of severe consequences. The tigress is infamously being called as Lady-killer.

But what they do not realize that venturing into forest to collect grass and wood is not fair either. Once you move into a Tiger reserve forest area you are always a potential prey for wild animals that know no boundaries or limitation. If there is danger lurking around and if it is obvious that there is a man-eater Tiger around then communities must take proactive action. Do not venture into forest unless you are in large group. Even in groups do not stray away alone. Make sure you are in large numbers. It’s the villagers best bet to save their own lives.

Re-occurrence of Elephants on the Rishikesh-Dehradun motor road triggered panic in the forest department on Monday. The elephants blocked the traffic thrice on Monday compelling the forest department to come into their cruel self. The elephants were air-fired upon and were pushed backed into the forest to regulate traffic.

What the forest department hasn’t been taught is how to handle incidents when Elephants blocks the road. Firing on them makes them their enemies and which is why we have seen a few human casualties of late. The irritated animals know that humans are their obvious enemies.

What is more surprising is that well studied people like a Chief Wildlife Warden or Rangers are so under-trained on handling incidents involving delicate wild animals. It is a pity and an indicator of the dangers that looms over these poor animals. Note that that the 820 sq km Rajaji National Park now has only 450-odd elephants and their number is dwindling for many years.

Dead Leopard found

January 11, 2011

Ranikhet: The forest department of the Mohaan range within Corbett Tiger reserve found a dead female Leopard on Monday after the being reported by the villagers. The dead Leopard ignited commotion within the forest department. The Leopard died because of the thorny Porcupine. The Leopard must have attacked a Porcupine which in return infested her body with thorns – a defense mechanism of this unique mammal. There were several porcupine thorns found on the carcass.

The dead female Leopard was discovered by the villagers of Kholyo-Kyari village.

It’s a sad loss, but the natural causes of the death means no foul-play (poaching).

The forest department made another goof up when they trapped wrong Tiger in the Satpuli range of Corbett Tiger Reserve. The department lured a male tiger instead of the man-eater female tigress they have been after. The tigress is to be trapped as she has allegedly turned into a man-eater, making three causalities till Dec 29, 2010.

Alas, this poor male tiger got lured into trap for buffalo meat. He had to suffer for several hours as he had to be tranquilized just because the forest department goofed up. That is not fair.

The forest department must – in a hurry – trap the tigress before she is killed by the villagers. The custom of poisoning a man-eating tiger is prevalent since centuries. And it’s in the best interest of the forest department that they trap the Tigress, find out why she turned into a man-eater and look ways to mend it. She may either be kept in an animal care center or be relocated where she has abundant prey. The point is – find the exact cause and act logically.

Death of Asia’s oldest tusker leads to grimace within the environmentalists lobby here in Uttarakhand and worldwide. Although, the forest official are being blamed for the untimely death of this elephant the matter of the fact is that Tipu died because of the combat with another tusker (younger and stronger). The law of the jungle stamps its authority over human interference antics. I am backing out in my statement made yesterday but that’s what I had been thinking about.

While the forest team failed to keep a vigil eye on the tusker he largely died because of his disorientation after been tranquilized and drugged for his injuries. He got disoriented on a railway bridge he has been crossing for past 65 years.

I now sit and back and wonder if there is anyone to be blamed for this death. Also, I’m not sure if it is an untimely death. A tusker has to give way to another stronger at some point during his life, often by giving away their life after battling it out. Tusker duels are known to last for many days. And it was not apt for the forest department to intervene and separate the tuskers while they were fighting for their dignity and authority in the herd and for forest range.

I also believe that like most other wildlife species it was within the capacity of Tipu to sort his injuries out after a duel. I knew he was not able to eat or drink. But he should have died under natural circumstances than falling off a railway bridge. Tranquilizers ALWAYS lead to increase in tension amongst pachyderms.

Tipu is dead

January 9, 2011

Tusker Tipu who was provided medical aid day before yesterday for his injuries died yesterday, apparently because he fell off from a railway bridge he was crossing. The wildlife department was supposed to keep a vigil eye towards the progress of Tipu as he was badly injured (read the previous post). He was to be under 24-hour watch as he was being treated for his injuries, and was heavily drugged. But the forest department goofed it up. They apparently shot fire rounds on him and dragged him off the village limits and also to keep him off from a herd of elephants.

The forest department needs to understand that firing shots is one of the most vital mistakes they are making towards these 450-odd pachyderms existing in 820 sq km Rajaji National Park. It feels like they are the real killer in veil of protectionists. And yes, they are. I have closely observed their mis-management in handling wildlife migrations. And they fail miserably.

Tipu was 65 years old.

Rishkesh, Uttarakhand The male tusker named Tipu who got injured during a battle with another tusker got medical attention after being tranquilized by the expert veterinarian. Apparently, the tusker got injured after a long fight with another tusker while trying to join in a herd of elephant. As per the report Tipu got a six-inch long hole in his trunk, which made it almost impossible for him to eat, and the situation for him is worrisome. All the elite forest officers were working towards this cause in the Motichur Range of Rajaji national Park. As per the report the duel between the two tuskers lasted for more than 10-hours. The duel injured Tipu badly. The forest officials had to fire several rounds of gunshots to separate the two giant elephants after they feared the worst. After they had to intimate the veterinary staff in order to provide medical attention to Tipu. Dr Gautam Rpiy Bhalla from WTI provided all the expertise after tranquilizing the tusker. The procedure lasted for five long hours. Others than his trunk, Tipu also incurred injury to his neck and leg. Chief Wildlife Warden for Uttarakhand SRikant Chandola and other prominent wildlife officials were present to oversee the operation. A team of forest guards is been appointed around Tipu to ensure the battle between the tuskers do not embark again. Commendable job! Another story in a newspaper suggest that handling cases like the one above are vital towards wildlife research and analysis.

A recent piece of news indicated that Jairam Ramesh, the chief of Environment plus Forests of India aims to revive the status of Freshwater Dolphins in India. He is apparently looking to put a lid on a whole amount of litter that flows into prime Indian rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Brahamaputra etc. These rivers are home to about 1800 freshwater Dolphins, considered third most intelligent living beings on earth.  BOLLOCKS (In capital). Rather than visiting Crocodile farms and bickering in Cancun and convincing us one billion plus people that he is upto the task, Jairam not just have to roll up his sleeves but got to take off his clothes, jump in this murky river, fish out these very rare specie of Dolphins and nurture them under his watchful eyes. Like they say – at his own backyard. He cannot be dupe to keep Tigers as his mainstay animals and let Dolphins die away in fishing nets. Doesn’t he know that life begins in water, and can very easily wipe of if the water ecology is punctured.

According to me cleaning up the rivers is an approach that comes lower down the order. What actually disturb the population of dolphins are a) dams, and b) fishing by jerks in the Indian rivers.

The news piece suggests the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) is already underway as a measure to address the cause this beautiful aquatic specie. What about those hundreds of tributaries that dumps its water (and its trash) into Ganges? Anyone cares to clean them up.

The news may be very encouraging for prominent scientist of India Dr Sandeep Behera – who have been rigorously working towards this cause, but not for some of us Naturalists who gets to read a news piece but NEVER gets to see an action. Jairam must not get stuck within the political turmoil. I believe it’s his ONE CHANCE of life to change the fortune of environment on face of earth forever. Common Jairam… do it for your grand children, grand-grand children, for humanity. Or the earth may never see them. Give it a good thought or you may _ _ _ _ off. Like most others.

Dehradun, (Dainik Jargran)

The villagers and forest department claims that Elephants storms into villages in search of Salt. However, they manage to break through barricades and rather chomp away Sugarcane and other farm products as easy food.

Personally, I think that’s baseless and shows how dumb forest officials can be. Wild animals get enough salt from dry rivers and other sources to manage their salt needs. Why they storm into villages is because these villages are right in middle of their traditional/historical routes.

Someone going tell these jackass what’s what and what’s not?

Period.