Melanistic and Common Leopard Pair

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On August 15, 2010, we were in the Nilgiris, in search of a leopard that had killed a porcupine the previous day. It was raining heavily in the morning, but stopped around 3 PM. As the rain stopped, we noticed something black on top of a hill and we cautiously approached it. We climbed about 500 feet of the hill, but the animal had vanished by the time we reached the top. We waited for sometime and a common leopard … Read More

Leopard in a Tea Estate, Nilgiris

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This leopard was photographed in a tea estate, near Kothagiri in the Nilgiris. I have also seen this leopard atop a rock, watching people below plucking tea leaves. So far there have been no reports of a conflict. Thus, at the moment, the leopard lives in harmony with the people in the area.

Editor’s note:  Leopards in India are often found in human-dominated landscapes. Here is another image of a leopard outside a protected area. For insights into … Read More

Camera ‘Traps’ Black Leopards in Dandeli-Anshi

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Perhaps because they remind people of ‘Bagheera’, from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, or perhaps because of their distinctive look, black leopards have always generated a buzz. Although they are just a genetic variant among the more common spotted form, it is usually assumed, even among many conservationists, that black leopards are a different species. Though the black form also occurs in dry forests, it tends to be more common in denser and humid forest regions (for example virtually all leopards … Read More

BPL – 123, Tale of a Leopard

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This one belies the field guides and the natural history books, which usually dismiss the leopard’s diet as “scrounging on smaller prey.” In actual fact, leopards are powerful predators that routinely kill fairly hefty prey such as spotted deer and sambar fawns.

Even so, Vinay S Kumar’s photograph of a leopard dragging a gaur calf is not a sight you see everyday. The picture, which was taken in Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve, shows a male leopard dragging his massive kill … Read More

Leopard With Gaur Calf Kill, Bandipur

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I had heard about this leopard with a gaur calf kill 3 days prior to making this image. The leopard was unable to carry the kill atop the tree because of its size. The kill lay vertically beneath the tree but no one saw it till the leopard got down from the tree and dragged the kill to other side of the game track. Inspite of multiple days of feeding the kill was still massive in size relative to the … Read More

Leopard Outside Protected Areas

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We all know that unlike tigers, leopards are not strictly confined to national parks wildlife sanctuaries. This leopard (do you see the two little cubs!) was photographed near Jayapura Village, H D Kote Road. Because of rapid expansion of urban areas, we constantly hear of leopard captures in towns and even cities. In Mysore city alone, during the last few months, three leopards were captured:

Chamundi Hills: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/217901/leopard-trapped-chamundi-hills.html
N R Mohala, Mysore: http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/karnataka/article3003671.ece
Bellikere, Mysore: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article2852542.eceRead More

Melanistic (Black) Panther, Bhadra Tiger Reserve

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Bhadra Tiger Reserve is seeing a few melanistic (Black) Panther sightings. Just yesterday (20th Feb 2012), tourists in the backwaters of the Bhadra reservoir saw this panther from a boat at 8am. There has been a couple of earlier sightings too. Researchers at the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) report of a melanistic leopard in a camera-trap capture from Bhadra in February 2009.

A black leopard is the same species as a normal-colored leopard with a high amount of pigment … 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

Leopard Trapped In Well, Maharashtra

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This leopard chased a village dog and fell into a percolation well in Takli Dokeshwar village, Ahmednagar district. These percolation wells which dot the landscape are at ground level without a parapet wall (and mostly surrounded by shrubbery) and it is common for leopards to fall in them. The leopard (named Ajoba by the study team; codenamed 5863) was captured with the help of a ladder (that led to a cage) and then fitted with a GPS+ collar. It was … Read More

261 Leopards Have Died in 2011

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Around 261 leopards have died between January and early September of 2011. Rising human-animal conflict accounts for a large number as well as poaching. Many of the deaths occur when leopards enter human habitations and the scared people try to chase the animal away. According to Belinda Wright of WPSI, this is an issue that needs to go beyond the law and needs creation of awareness amongst people on the need to protect these animals. Praveen Bhargav of Wildlife First … Read More

Forest Department Rescues Leopard from Narmada Canal, Gujarat

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A four to five year old leopard was rescued from a Narmada canal in Junagadh district. Villagers from Chelaka village had alerted the department and the leopard was found taking rest in a 2.5 feet radius pipe. After a three hour operation, the forest department succeeded in getting the animal to enter a cage kept at the one end of the pipe. The leopard appears to have travelled from Sasan Forests which are a part of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.… Read More

Leopard Runover by Truck on Bangalore NICE Road, Feb 2011

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A leopard was run over by a heavy vehicle on the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) Road, connecting Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road. It shows how much the urban sprawl have begun infringing on wildlife habitat. Forest officials and the Bannerghatta police, who visited the spot visit in the morning, said that the leopard sustained head injuries and died on the spot. The forests urban department which has ordered a probe is in the process of identifying the vehicle from … Read More

Leopards Poached More Aggressively than Tigers

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Six leopards are poached for every tiger that is killed. Leopard skins are in great demand in China. Their bones are also often passed off as tiger cub bones. Leopards are also involved in a lot of man-animal conflicts and are often killed with brutality for straying into human habitations.

In 2010, 180 leopards were killed through poaching whereas the total number killed stands at 328. In the first six months of 2011, there have already been 79 poaching related … Read More

Leopard Crossing, Mysore — Mananthavadi Highway, Nagarahole

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A leopard tentatively crosses the Mysore – Mananthavadi highway in Nagarahole national park and tiger reserve in Karnataka. Based on the fact that this road passes through an extremely crucial habitat for elephants and tigers and number of tragic roadkills, conservationists filed an application to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court to close the road to nighttime traffic.

The CEC on 05-05-2008 concluded that no vehicular traffic be permitted between 6pm and 6am apart from other mitigation … Read More