Sunday 29 March 2009

Leopard Terrorizes an Indian Village

The news announcement is, "Leopard terrorizes an Indian Village". But who is being terrorized the most and who is doing the terrorizing? Here we have a wild leopard running through a suburban park and over roof tops and walls surrounded by many people at close range. The cat does not attack these people but runs on by. This leopard is frightened. Out of its environment. Eventually in a park area, surrounded once again by perhaps a hundred excited people, mostly men wishing to show to the world their macho skills the leopard is jumped on by a large Indian man. I also read of man eating leopards. If a man can catch a leopard using his bare hands as is the case here how can they be man eating? The truth is that man eating leopards are attacking children and women but not men because they have too. We created the situation under which the leopard does this. I would have thought some sensible precautions and scare tactics would suffice. We owe the leopard that. The cougar in America is a similar sized cat and that can be frightened off. There is not need to shoot a cougar.

The leopard is not a "big cat" in the way we know it. It is the size of a large dog and the weight of a lightish man. So the animal is not that hard to tackle and really in this instance I saw no reason to tackle the animal at all. Why not try and guide the animal back to its world? An excited mob of people will not help. Sorry to be critical again but I just don't see this as the right thing to do. And we should remember that we, people, caused this cat to come out of its natural environment to the human one. Let it go back unharmed.

After the newsreader said that a leopard terrorises an Indian village, she says the leopard "succumbed to its injuries". I presume injuries inflicted during its capture. There were people with sticks as well. What happened? The leopard basically got killed by an Indian mob who were ostensibly protecting themselves from a leopard that wanted to get away! The news reader should have announced, "Mob terrorise a leopard and kills it!"

I am fascinated and I am afraid appalled by the social stresses of forcing large wildcat and human animal together. It happens all over the world and frequently in places like India where there is a high human population and a consequential shrinking wildcat habitat. This forces the cat to encroach onto "human territory" and frequently to have to look for prey near or in human settlements. Come on India, you can do better. And yes, I know we in the UK totally screwed up in respect of our large wildlife species many years ago, killing them all off, so I have no right to criticise etc.. But I just don't want to see such a fine animal killed needlessly. Why can't people live in harmony with the leopard and the tiger in India?

Here is another example of us screwing up. This time in Africa in relocating a leopard. In this case you can see the size of the leopard and even in this attack the man comes away relatively unharmed:

Leopard Terrorizes an Indian Village to Home Page

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