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.

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.

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.

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.

Dehradun, (Dainik Jargran) on January 6th, 2011

A Leopard in the Arcadia range adjoining the Dehradun city area is giving sleepless nights to the residents of the area. Residents are angry over this issue as no concrete step has been taken to address this issue. All that the forest officials do is burst 4-5 firecrackers and get done with their job. The villagers demand urgent action.

Note that the Leopard is active in the area since December, 2009. On Tuesday (Jan 4) the leopard went away with another kill by fleeing off with a calf belonging to one poor villager. This has further scared the denizens of the area. People fears to come out of their houses after dusk. The villagers fear for their small children who often have to come and go to school all alone.

Villager’s demands strict action by the forest department against the Leopard fear in the region.

Dehradun, (Dainik Jargran) on Jan 6, 2011

A Leopard considered a nuisance for past six month was finally caught caged within the premises of Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand in India. The Leopard was later released into the desnse forest of Malhan range of Shivalik ridge by the forest officials.The range is within the Rajaji National Park forest wildlife reserve.

This particular male Leopard was active for past six month near and around IMA premises. Though there were three separate cages set up to catch this poor cat, but he kept eluding the trap all this while. Finally in the night 4/5 Jan he fall into trap set-up near Kariappa battalion. When in morning the Leopard catch was confirmed the forest department officials reached the spot and took control.

Later the Leopard was taken to the forest office of the Asharodi range. Dehradoon forest department SDO J S Rawat claims the Leopard is about 3-4 years old and iin perfectly good shape. Later in afternoon the Cat was released into Malhan range of Shivalik ridge. Soon as the cage was open this beautiful Leopard jumped off and vanished inside the forest. SDO Rawat claims the Leopard will have ideal habitat and ample kill in this forest range.