Village Dogs Hunting Chital, Nagarahole

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The backwaters of Kabini in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve  is subjected to chases, kills and predation by stray dogs alleged pets of the tribals who live and work near the Balle part of the national park. On two occasions, I noticed up to three dogs chase spotted deer over long distances. One such chase was nearly for a kilometre though the deer managed to maintain the distance as they vanished in to the woods.

In India most wildlife reserves have large … Read More

‘Onti Kombu’ — The Tusker that met with a tragic end

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Meet Onti Kombu, the infamous single tusk elephant that used to roam the forests of Bandipur in the Nilgiris. If you have visited Bandipur before 2009, chances are that you would have seen, or atleast heard of this elephant. He was known for his temper and for killing 10-12 people on the Mysore-Ooty highway. Most people thought of him as a crazy rogue elephant who was intolerant of humans.

During my 3-month stint as a naturalist at Jungle Lodges and … Read More

Villagers Inside a Tiger Reserve

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Villagers inside the reserve area at Tadoba Tiger Reserve. Humans (locals) and animals are a threat to each other in such scenarios. Local people’s perception of surrounding forests is an important factor in their conservation. Also, in many cases, the villagers themselves want to trade the hardships of living inside forests in favour of a more modern lifestyle near cities and towns. Voluntary resettlement can be a win-win solution. Apparently four more villages are yet to be moved out of … Read More

Human – Leopard Conflict, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

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A leopard was captured in a village from Bauli Tehsil of Sawai Madhopur District and released in Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary, 40 km away from the leopard’s territory. The leopard was just spotted by villagers and summoned the forest department to remove it. After 3 days, the leopard found its way back to its homerange as typically happens. On the way back, it encountered villagers and accidentally injured a child. A chaos ensued, and during the (second) forest department rescue operation, … Read More

Innocent Victim — Elephant Calf Railway Kill, Walayar, Kerala

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Tragically unresolved and burning issue of the deaths of wild elephants around Walayar, Palakkad, Kerala, due to train hits. This is not a freak accident — during the last two years, this little calf is the eighth such victim of our carelessness and negligence. With both the Indian Railways and the Forest Department busy blaming each other over this issue, the end result is this emotionally wrenching scene of the the whole mourning herd standing guard and not allowing anybody … Read More

To Dart Or Not To Dart — Demystifying Wild Animal Immobilization

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The first wild leopard immobilization I undertook was in 2003. A female leopard had been trapped in a foothold snare outside Otur near Junnar in Pune district and she had to be rescued. By the time I reached from Pune, she had been trapped for more than 12 hours, was exhausted, dehydrated, and in a critical condition.

The immobilization was uneventful: within a few minutes the animal was rescued from the trap and shifted to the nearby Forest Department (FD) … Read More

Dog Hunting Chital in Kabini, Nagarahole

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The sequence of events below happened on 3rd March 2012 in Kabini.

As I drove past the familiar backwaters of Kabini, I noticed a spotted deer motionless near the banks of the river, around 200 m from the road near the Balle watch tower. A quick look through the binoculars and I could make out that it was injured and bleeding from its legs and a part of its neck. I waited in the same place imagining that a predator … Read More

Q: The Tamil TV media shows Man- wildlife conflict regularly and shows the damage caused to property and produce in stark visuals. This creates a negative mind set in viewers about wildlife. How can this be altered /corrected?

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Answer from Ramki Sreenivasan: The world over, most TV news channels sensationalize everything to get more viewers. While the top English news channels in India are somewhat amenable to reason and persuasion, and responsive to expert opinion, many regional news channels are a law unto themselves. Their viewers have little exposure to nature education. Many regional channels are controlled by powerful personalities or organizations who care little about social responsibility or balanced reporting. Since making money is their primary goal, … Read More

A Lion-tailed Macaque By The Roadside, Anamalai Hills

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How do you feel when you see this photo? Don’t you think that this is one of the ugliest and saddest sights to witness? The lion-tailed macaque Macaca silenus is an endangered and endemic macaque found only in the tropical rainforests of the Western Ghats. Instead of living freely in the canopy of the rainforest, here is a male by a roadside, looking for food.

This individual has been forced into looking for food in passing vehicles. The habitat of … Read More

Erode District In Tamil Nadu Had 23 Elephant Deaths In 2011

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Erode district in Tamil Nadu, comprising of the two forest divisions of Erode and Sathyamangalam, recorded 23 elephant deaths in 2011. The majority of the deaths were due to natural causes according to the Erode Conservator of Forests. Three died due to electrocution, one was killed by poachers and 19 died due to natural causes (illness). The large population of elephants in the area causes frequent man animal conflicts and the forest department has erected around 239 km of solar … Read More

The Leopards of Mumbai

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Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in the north of Mumbai seems to have always been associated with leopards attacking humans. However, a little delving into the patterns of attacks finds that conflict is a recent phenomenon. The attacks began around the nineties and took on its worst form in 2004, when in a single month in May, nineteen attacks on people were reported. Now again, post-2006, there have been no attacks on humans.

Recently the Forest Department of SGNP (headed … Read More

106 Leopards And 19 Tigers Dead In Uttarakhand This Year

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As many as 106 leopards and 19 tigers have died in Uttarakhand till Dec 10 of this year. 57 leopards were killed by poachers, 19 died of old age or sickness, 7 were killed in accidents, 6 were killed by the forest department after being declared man-eaters, 6 died in territorial fights, 6 died during rescue operations, 3 were killed by other animals and carcasses of 2 cubs were found. Releasing these figures, the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) … Read More