Friday, December 23, 2011

Panther on loose

The poor animal succumbed to stress and injuries sustained from the cage. It was not the leopard that was intended to be caged, the animal a vanishing hyena was the victim of this fallacy.

The jungles of Dumna were once pristine wildlife habitats with ample wild and bird species. These badly fragmented reserve forests are under constant pressure from development lobby. A forest belt containing a large reservoir has been brought under the umbrella of protected area about 500 hectare. It is known as Dumna Nature Reserve and is excellent place to watch wintering birds like Gray Lag Geese, Eurasian Wigeon, Lesser Whistling Teal, Northern Pintail, Tufted Duck, Red Crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall and Ruddy Shelduck.  The rest of the forests are entirely dependent upon the man. The airport is situated in this area and a IIIT institute has been set recently. The MPT is planning to bring up a five star hotel here and some defense establishment are in offing.

The leopard has been sighted in this region for decades and finds sanctuary in cordoned and protected nearby. The prey base is reasonably good but depleting thanks to reducing forest cover.  I had seen a leopard with three cubs few year back at Imzhar Ghati some distance away though two of her cubs were killed one survived perhaps.  

The big cat at Dumna Road is often seen by motorists in the evening times. Recently the leopard is being seen as a menace an animal that has been living here for ages. This is a fine example of habitat takeover by humans and then labeling the animal as vermin. The presence has all a sudden become a threat thanks to greater traffic and hence higher visibility. These animals are no longer ignored by the intruding humans albeit no man eating or killing case has occurred. 

There are reports of cubs being present hence of the female is relocated or sent to the zoo the cubs may not survive. Ill conceived ill planned  exercise results from paranoia once people feel insecure in wildlife habitats. These trends augur further depletion of big cat population in India.

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