Problem leopard dodges traps, kills woman

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The problem leopard in UmredKuhi area of Nagpur district killed a woman in a farm near Tarna village Tuesday, triggering tension and public anger.

The animal had earlier injured three people. Efforts by the forest department to capture it since the first attack on August 10 have not succeeded.

“The leopard pounced on Babybai Uike, aged about 50 years, when she was sowing chillies with five or six other women around 5.30 pm. The woman’s shrieks attracted the group which raised an alarm, following which the animal ran away. But Babybai succumbed on the spot,Divisional Forest Officer P K Mahajan told The Indian Express.

Villagers angry with the forest department’s failure to capture the leopard refused to collect Babybai’s body for two hours after the incident. “This will probably mean the villagers will take it upon themselves to find, catch & probably burn the leopard; as they have done on previous occasions!”

“We have put up two cages since August 15, but it is refusing to fall into the trap,” Mahajan said.

“Despite so much pressure, the animal is hardly deterred.”

Nobody seems to know why the leopard began attacking humans. Unlike most cases of man-animal conflict, the attacks have happened in villages and farms, not forests. “Which are still within the leopard’s dining area!!”

“This is clearly a crisis. From my experience in western Maharashtra, I can say that leopards that have been trapped once succeed in avoiding cages. Also, those caught outside protected areas but released inside generally tend to get into conflict with humans,” wildlife biologist and leopard scholar Vidya Athreya said.

A leopard was caged on June 10 after it entered a house in Ranbodi village nearby, and was released in the wild the next day.

Mahajan said the problem leopard could be the same one. “We are checking available photographs. It could be the same animal.”

Asked why shoot orders were not being issued, Mahajan said, “I will now send a report to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) S W H Naqvi, who will take a call.”

Asked for a comment, Naqvi said, “We have to exhaust all options before shoot orders are issued. I will decide after getting a report from the DFO.” “Of course they can’t just go round shooting all the leopards that villagers see close up, they are a protected species…not that the villagers care. I have seen some horrific videos of what villagers will do to any that they can catch, beating them to death or burning them alive! Perhaps public housing is more likely to be edging further into the leopards domain…not the other way around…that or the locals are killing meat usually hunted by the leopard; for their own family’s to feed on…hence no food for the leopards!”

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“Having just found this video, I thought I would include as it show’s the villagers mentality on finding a leopard. Villagers go into mob mode, their like screaming banshees, possessed, the appear by the hundreds (don’t know how or who calls them) & will kill either leopard or officials if there are only a few. You can see the hatred they have for the leopard, throwing rocks at it’s head, when the poor bloody thing only want’s to get back to forest!”

“Thank God the superintendence of police got more back up or else this could have ended with 2 deaths. I think they should look into training more people who are able to dart & know the leopards behaviour!!”

Published on 5 Aug 2012 by 

Its War Between Leopard & Human.. Leopard came for water & food near farm, because of Sunrise She try to hide at Bamboo shade sided to close house. but news spread out. Villagers dare that catch the leopard or they will kill. after the 1st fail attempt from villagersthey almost succeed to kill leopard, but help of police forest official & we success to save this leopard. only 1 person who has experience to Trap or dart leopard,other 1 is me who know the behavior of leopard , both injured in action. Daring of Mr.Sunil Wadekar who takes the decision of Open Dart…& got success… i feel the happiness that man after the fever he run at least for 4km ..& save to Leopard. Thanks to Superintendent of Police Nashik Mr.Pravin Padval who send extra police force & respond to my Request.

Elephant Trumpet Calls Instil Fear In Villagers

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Elephant attacks haunt tribes people in Nilambur

An Adivasi man climbing atop the terrace of his house to sleep without fear of attack from wild elephant at the Mancheeri colony.

The killing of an Adivasi woman by a wild elephant in the Nilambur forests recently has brought to focus the threat posed by wild animals to human settlements.

Most Adivasis living in colonies inside the jungle and on its fringes are under threat from marauding herds of wild elephants. “Elephants are the biggest threat we face,” says Balan, son of the Adivasi moopan at the Mancheeri colony in the Karulai forest range. This colony of Cholanaikars is about 16 km inside the jungle. All Adivasis, irrespective of their age, gender, and experience, dread any encounter with elephants.

On Monday afternoon, Kurumbi, a 66-year-old Adivasi woman from Chembra Adivasi colony at Pothukal, was trampled to death by a wild elephant that was standing behind a bamboo grove near her house.

The attack took place hardly 150 metres away from her house. Kurumbi’s husband, Chathan, 75, managed to run to safety. They were collecting mushrooms when the elephant attacked them. “Elephant attacks have increased in recent times. We do not know the reasons. We used to evade elephants cleverly. But it becomes difficult as we grow old,” says Mannala Moopan, a Cholanaikar chieftain of Mannala region well inside the Karulai forest.

Adivasis, especially those living inside the forests, make a living by collecting forest produce. They often travel deep inside the forest to collect honey and other items. The dozen-odd families which live in the Mancheeri tribal colony cannot even sleep in their concrete houses that were constructed by the government.

All of them have erected makeshift sheds on top of their houses so as to sleep at night without the fear of elephant attack. “We climb atop the terrace using a bamboo stilt at night. We sleep under a plastic sheet,” says Chathan of the Mancheeri colony. Forest officials said electric fencing around the Adivasi colonies could prevent elephant attacks. Electric fences have but disappeared at many places.

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Man eater leopard caged in Dudhala

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AHMEDABAD: The forest department finally caged a man eater leopard who had created terror in theDudhalal area after he killed a mentally unstable person who was sleeping along the road side. 

Forest officials said that before a couple of days Haku Koli (42) was sleeping along the road side when he was attacked by the leopard. The leopard dragged him about 150 meters and took him in the nearby field where the animal killed Haku.

After this incident, the forest department was keeping a watch on the movement of the leopard and finally it decided to trap the leopard and bring it to the rescue centre. Since the leopard was spotted mainly in the field of Kantibhai, two cages with live bait were laid in the field.

On Monday night the leopard came close to the cage but left again in the wee hours, the leopard came close to the cage and entered one of the two cages. As soon as it entered it was trapped.

The man eater animal will now be kept in the rescue centre in Gir east where it would be treated and if every thing goes off smoothly the big cat would again be released in the wild, said a forest officer.

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Cape baboons to be put down

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Two dominant males of the notorious Smitswinkel baboon troop are to be caught and put down in line with a recommendation made to CapeNature by the Baboon Conservation Authority.

Force and Merlin are part of the troop in the Simon’s Town area known for raiding cars and stealing food from motorists and tourists.

“During the past two years both males have continually raided the Black Marlin Restaurant, a caravan park, several tents, vehicles and occupants, broken into houses, broken a house’s glass sliding door, broken a car window, and raided several vehicles and picknickers,” said CapeNature spokeswoman Liesl Brink.

City council vet Elzette Jordan says she has also found that Force and Merlin have become emboldened and dangerous enough to justify their being put down.

However, Jenni Trethowan of the Baboon Matters Trust says the proposal to put down the baboons has been “badly thought out”.

“Killing dominant males (the main suspects in car raids) is not working. In fact, it is compounding the problem. Every time a dominant male is removed from the hierarchy it creates a leadership vacuum. Eventually other baboons will become the troop’s new leaders. By taking out a leading male, you’re essentially opening up the opportunity for other baboons to start raiding vehicles.”

More needed to be done to educate people about how to act around baboons, while spot fines for people who did not comply with the rules could also be considered.

“Killing baboons is not going to solve anything.

Critics argue that the root of the problem is people who feed baboons or roll down their windows and act inappropriately around the troop.

Chad Chapman, a photographer who followed the troop for three years, said people encouraged the baboons’ behavioural problems, as well as those of Fred, put down in April last year.

Fred was a fiercely dominant member of the Smitswinkel troop, and attacked people who tried to stop him.

At the time Force and Merlin were also earmarked as problem animals, but the city decided not to put them down then as they were less aggressive than Fred.

The decision to put down Fred was widely criticised. Jordan said new measures to educate people had been put in place.

“Reports indicate that (Merlin and Force’s) behaviour did not improve. These two feel nothing about climbing through a car window and over passengers to get at food,” she said.

The measures included more signs and the introduction of a monitor to hand out flyers and advise motorists and tourists on how to act when the troop was in the area.

“I understand many people are upset when baboons are put down, but just wait until the day that a baboon kills someone’s child, then you’ll see a public outcry,” Jordan said.

She said she understood Trethowan’s concerns, but the removal of Merlin and Force could just as easily lead to an alpha male emerging to bring cohesion to the group.

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Stop Baboons being Killed in the Cape Peninsula.

The City of Cape Town and Cape Nature Conservation, instead of assisting them in their natural dispersion, or addressing management issues with residents who are responsible for the baboons losing natural habitat and adapting their behavior accordingly, have authorised the killing of these healthy, strong male baboons.

Baboons are a highly adaptive species who in this case have naturally adapted to the human environment forced on them. They are not predators who view humans as a food source but regard humans as another primate species with whom they are competing for resources.

Their reputation as “dangerous” is mostly exaggerated due to the many myths that have been perpetuated due to our fears. The media with its reliance on sensationalism all too often plays on this, keeping the public fearful and ignorant of the true facts surrounding this species.

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Lions speared: Kenya’s human-animal conflicts grow

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ILKEEK-LEMEDUNG’I, Kenya (AP) – Crouching in the savannah’s tall grass, the lions tore through the flesh of eight goats in the early morning invasion. Dogs barked, women screamed and the men with the rank of warrior in this village of Maasai tribesman gathered their spears.

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers responded to the attack, but without a vet, and no way to tranquilize the eight attacking lions and remove them from Ilkeek-Lemedung’I, a collection of mud, stone and iron-sheeting homes 40 kilometers (25 miles) outside Nairobi, not far from the edges of Nairobi National Park.

In the end, the Maasai men – who come from a tribe renowned for hunting skills – grew tired of waiting for the vet, said Charity Kingangir, whose father’s goats were attacked. The men speared the lions, killing six: two adult lionesses, two younger lions and two cubs.

The lions had killed eight goats, each worth about $60.

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The deaths Wednesday of the six lions came one week after residents from another village on Nairobi’s outskirts killed a leopard that had eaten a goat. Last month KWS agents shot and killed a lion moving around the Nairobi suburb of Karen. And KWS said three lions attacked and killed three goats outside Nairobi National Park early Thursday. Rangers chased the lions back to the park.

Four days before the Maasai killed the six lions, KWS sent out a public notice pleading with people who encounter wild animals “to desist from killing them.” Such animals are dangerous, it said.

KWS summed up the problem in a posting on its Facebook page on Thursday: “Do animals invade human space, or do humans invade animal space? How can we find tolerance for our wild neighbors? And how can we humanely remove them when they get a bit too close?”

As Kenya’s capital enjoys a boom in apartment and road construction, an expanding population center is putting heavy pressure on Kenya’s famed wildlife, especially its big cats. Nairobi National Park is the only wildlife park in the world that lies in a country’s capital city.

Humans have killed about 100 lions a year over each of the last seven years, leaving the country with 2,000. Killing lions in Kenya is a crime, but Kenyans who lose livestock to big cats frequently retaliate. Lions, especially ones who leave Nairobi National Park, which is not completely fenced in, are at risk. After the killing of the six, KWS believes the park has 37 left.

As Nairobi continues to grow, small towns on its outskirts are cropping up and expanding, in part fuelled by the demand for low-cost housing from the city’s working class.

Humans are settling in traditional migratory corridors that wildlife from Nairobi’s park have long used to access the plains to the south around Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, or to travel to Kenya’s Maasai Mara in the country’s southwest, said Peter M. Ngau, a professor in the department of urban and regional planning at the University of Nairobi.

The herbivores migrate from the park in search of pasture during the dry season and the carnivores follow, KWS official Ann Kahihia said.

“Unfortunately the carnivores do not know the difference between livestock and wild animals. Once they get livestock they just kill them,” Kahihia said.

KWS Director Julius Kipngetich has said the human population in the Kitengela area, where the six lions were killed, was low in the 1990s but following the establishment of an export processing zone, where raw imported goods are made into products, the number of people living there grew dramatically.

The second biggest migration of animals in Kenya – the biggest being the migration between Serengeti National Park in neighboring Tanzania and Maasai Mara – was that of the wildebeests from Nairobi National Park to the Athi plains to Nairobi’s east. But that migration has been squeezed because of human settlement, he said.

If parliament approves, the Kenyan government will start compensating those whose animals are maimed or killed by wildlife as an incentive to spare the attacking animals. KWS spokesman Paul Udoto said the government stopped compensation for wildlife attacks in 1987 after the program was abused.

Kipngetich said other ways of avoiding human-wildlife conflict is to fence parks and compensate at market rates people whose land may be used for conservation purposes.

Jackson Sikeet, who was present during Wednesday’s killing of the lions, said the government should compensate the Maasai for the loss of the goats.

“Otherwise if they don’t, this problem is going to continue every other time,” Sikeet said.

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Female leopard caught in Talala forest

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VERAVAL (JUNAGADH): A female leopard that had killed a three-year-old child on the outskirts of Devadi-Semrav village in Talala taluka some days ago was captured by the forest department officials on Monday.

The foresters said that the leopard was on the prowl in the area and they had placed several cages with baits in the area. However, the big cat remained evasive for several days.

“On the fateful night of Sunday, we placed a cage with live bait in it at an orchard owned by Kala Parmar, who claimed to have sighted the beast in his orchard. The leopard was found captured on Monday morning,” said a forester.

The captured leopard is believed to be six-year-old. The forest department has sent it to Sasan Animal Care centre.

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Maha model to curb leopard-man conflict

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SURATForest officials in Surat are planning to emulate the successful project implemented by the Maharashtra forest department to reduce the leopard-human conflict in Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Large number of leopards has moved out of forest areas and have made towns and villages in south Gujarat their homes, thus increasing the chances of conflict with humans.

According to Vidya Athreya, who is running the Project Waghoba in Mumbai, said that leopard density in south Gujarat and major parts of Maharashtra is higher than the dense forests of Aravalli mountain forests.

After Project Waghoba was implemented, there has been no loss of life of leopards or humans since 2007 in areas near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

V A Chaturvedi, chief conservator of forest (CCF), Valsad told TOI, “With the increasing population of humans and wild cats in the region, the conflict is not going to decrease. We need to take urgent steps to limit this before the problem becomes unmanageable.”

Till now, forest officials used to lay a trap and catch the leopards and then release it to the forest. Department officials confirm that in many cases the leopards that were caught and released in far away forests in the same area, returned near the urban habitat in few years’ time.

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