28 April 2022 – Thanks for visiting this page. I’ll be back in late May with an update, in the meantime you can scroll down for info, links to blogs etc at this crucial juncture for the leopard.
Caught in a snare, a lonely way to die…
8 April 2022 – Through April and May I’m focusing on #AntiSnare and leopard rehabilitation, especially improving facilities. We’ll be running a ‘please help’ shortly, in the meantime you can email email@example.com to support. – Following on this page is a brief summary of the situation as leopards continue to get caught in snares in South Asia with a spate of incidents locally here in west Nepal typifying the situation.
The image below is a leopard dead from snare injuries in Kailali, the district adjacent to where I write this now:
I could have used any images from a spate of reports in the last few days in both India and Nepal. The one below is of another leopard trapped in a snare a little further west, near the India – Nepal border, it was two days later that the injuries proved fatal.
Another huge male we called Raja, rescued from a hill district northwest of where we try to rehabilitate here at Bardiya National Park, is now free in the park after a difficult ten days in rehab. Raja still has injuries to heal but I’m hopeful his resilience and strength will see him through after a harrowing time caught in the snare, rescued and then a long journey here. Improving rehab facilities to cope with the amount of injured leopards coming in and to provide a better chance of recovery is a strong emphasis but so is improving prevention strategy through #AntiSnare, I’ll have more on this in an update later this month.
I’ve written many times before about leopards dying in snare traps and the reasons why this is happening but we have hit another spike in the amount of incidents which combined with leopard body parts seizures. retaliation kills and poaching in general continues the persecution of the Indian leopard, a sub-species of an animal globally declining in population.
The current trajectory if it continues will lead to untimely end for the leopard in many places, that is inevitable. The efforts to protect this animal need much wider support. Please consider that. Right now it is about saving every leopard we can. More in a week, there are a series of crisis meetings but it’s only action that will reduce the number of leopards caught in snares, the brutality of which you can see in the images and usually resulting in a lonely death.
20 March 2022 – Read a little about Ashi HERE, she’s a young leopardess in rehab as part of Ecosystem Reboot. UPDATE at the bottom of the POST, sadly the little leopardess passed away, our goal is that her death was not in vain and that rescue/rehab capacity can be increased.
7 March 2022 – Latest blog post, AI and wildlife tech are only as good as the trust involved is HERE and as it mentions, a really busy few months now prior to monsoon plus this whole site will have content add and updates during this month
1 March 2022 – Many thanks for arriving at this page, I’ll post short a blog of on 7 March when I’m at my laptop but sadly it’s already been a shocking start to the year as indicated by seizures/poaching incidents of around 50 and even as I write this we’re working on a poaching case from just a few hours ago. For now please read below but also focus on what is reported at Snapshot, we’re trying tremendously hard to combat the situation
1 February 2022 – Year of the Tiger. Many thanks for visiting this page, my first blog in this new beginning. I also want to thank all those who have read my posts since the last Year of the Tiger in 2010, there’s been so much support over the years, the work continues, there’s a lot to be done before big cats and biodiversity are in the place they need to be. For now I’ve put all those previous blogs into archives to be used in a larger body of work but most importantly I’d really like you to contemplate the content on the front page Mission Leopard and in this short commentary below. 21 February – Interim Blog Post HERE, another sad incident, one of so many, a leopard dies a brutal, lonely death…
I still get asked many questions about my time with Asa, the leopard of hope, our journey together for him to live wild. In the course of time I’ll tell his full story along with those of other leopards but for now I just want to touch on two other significant events which influenced my motivation.
The first was in 2003 when I was in Kathmandu shortly after 109 leopard skins had been seized in the city. I was in a discussion with WWF Nepal head, the late Dr Chandra Gurung, he said that sadly there was little interest in the seizure, the leopard was not high priority. Nepal was in turmoil with the insurgency and like any war torn state it was in survival mode. Chandra, an internationally recognized conservationist who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident explained that so critical was the situation with tiger poaching that all available resources had to be poured into protecting the great striped cat. Nearly 20 years later of course that continued effort has born fruit as Nepal has successfully recovered its tiger population but for the leopard the situation is still not good as the country still remains a major trafficking hub for leopard body parts.
The second incident was just a few years ago in a rugged hill district where very sadly fifteen children had been killed by leopard. Three days after the most recent tragedy I was at the scene when the grandmother of the little four year boy who had been killed, approached me crying and then fell into my arms, sobbing uncontrollably for many minutes, her grief and sadness I could feel in every pore of my body. A few days later after an intense collaborative effort the leopard was caught, the big cat did not survive the ordeal, something my thoughts still see, something I will never forget.
There have been many other experiences, I remember a leopard giving its last roar before dying of snare trap injuries and there was the entire family still in a state of post traumatic stress several years after the youngest member was killed by leopard. These collective experiences have given me insights that in many ways I do not wish for but they add up to a determination to keep striving for a better coexistence between people and leopards.
After many years Mission Leopard is the result. This Year of the Tiger is a line in the sand and we can be measured by results in twelve years time at the next one. It’s critical we are successful for many reasons, I hope you can join us, the solutions are there, they require will, effort and support at a time when biodiversity loss is at a critical stage.
The online component of Mission Leopard is a place you can reflect for now, you can become involved, please consider it, the future of many of these highly evolved ecosystem engineers and the people who live with them is at stake.