The two big cats of India, leopard and tiger, have no where to go. They are increasing coming into conflict with people. To see a large leopard wandering through the streets of a city in India looks crazy and it drives the people crazy. Although I have seen men showing off in trying to kill a leopard. It is a chance to be macho. Some leopards are not that large. The one in the photo is very large.
There is nothing good about this. It is a complete failure for leopard and people. The leopard is sometimes surrounded and beaten to death by a large crowd. Horrible and unnecessary. It just should not happen. There is no longer a place in India for the once populous leopard. It is the same old story: human population expands and takes up a bit more of the leopard’s habitat. The leopard’s prey is gradually killed off by people and so the leopard begins to encroach into areas populated by people where it is totally incompatible with them and completely out of place. The leopard is a cunning predator and it can kill a person if desperate enough.
There are other stories about big cats clashing with people at the same time. These are two headlines of 24th Feb 2014:
- Tiger kills its 10th person in six weeks while evading hunters on its trail in India
- ‘Man-eater’: Officials hunting killer tiger after seven people die in attacks in northern India
Where will it all end? There is only one outcome, which is a dead certainty – no more leopards in the wild in India. It will take time but the time will come. Humans are just totally unable to manage the planet so that we can live in “harmony” with other species. The word “harmony” makes me laugh, so far from it are we.
My thanks to Marc for find the picture which is credited AP/Getty Images but I believe it to be in the public domain.