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Showing posts from August, 2023

Cheetah Cubs Born in Boma , Do They Have Conservation Value ?

When Aasha gave birth to three cubs in one of the enclosures  of  Kuno national park - there was good news and bad news. The good news is that this is the second litter of cheetah on Indian soil after Siyaya, another Namibia cheetah, gave birth to four cubs in March 2023 and that the animal seems to have acclimatized further in India conditions. Birth in captivity will also enhance their chances of survival. The three newborns  from Aasha have also increased the number of cheetahs in India.  The bad news is that like Siyaya's cubs, they too are born within the confines of a boma and would not get the environmental conditions required to survive in the wild. They would also be reared up by Aasha in the enclosure -safe from predators like leopards. But what does this mean? Kuno Awaits Cheetah Birth in Open Forest Cheetahs were translocated to India with a purpose. The Cheetah action plan envisages saving, conserving and developing India's grasslands .The reason for choosing cheet

Selfie With Leopard

Over fifty people in a village of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh risked their life as they played around an ailing leopard .The leopard was    spotted in an isolated area of Eklara Mata village, about 70 kms away from the district headquarter of the industrial town  of Dewas on August 29. The spotted cat is suffering from some neurological disorder which may have been caused by rabies of canine distemper virus. Though the villagers did not harm the animal, they were exposed to the animal bite as they fondled the animal, sat around it and tried to even have a ride before taking selfies. Leopard Ride ?  Videos taken by them raise  many serious questions. Who is actually the animal? The people taking selfies and having fun with the  hapless spotted cat as they yelled, whistled, jostled to play and to  shoot videos and images  from mobile phones. But beast that seemed to have lost its animal instinct because of the ailment did not react.  People living around the  forest fringes  n

Drones, Dogs Help Catch Cheetah Nirva In Kuno

Officials in the Union ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFC&C)  and those  involved in cheetah  translocation in Namibia and  South Africa heaved a huge sigh of relief after Nirva, the female cheetah  missing since July 21 was captured in Kuno national park . But the operation to capture Nirva was a huge exercise and, perhaps, has no parallel in the history of wildlife conservation in India.  Spreading over 150 hours stretched in 22 days, more than 100 forest department personnel, looked out for a cheetah in a rain drenched jungle. Day in , day out ,they walked on foot, rode elephants, flew drones and deployed dogs in search of the cheetah.  Hard work and perseverance paid off and Nirva was caught and captured. “Nirva is healthy and has been kept inside boma for further health check-up”, said Aseem Shrivastava, the chief wildlife warden of Madhya Pradesh.  Nirva in Kuno was Like Needle in Haystack Operation Nirva began in the backdrop of  three cheetah death- T

Tiger Parts Seizure in Assam Shows Unprotected Areas Are Poachers' Paradise

Recent seizure of bones and skin of a tiger in Assam leading to arrest of poachers and a  tiger part trader ,former employee of the Wildlife wing  of Delhi forest department ,should be a wake up call for the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) . Body parts of the tiger  from Chandrapur -Gadchiroli districts in Maharashtra were confiscated   more than 2000 kms away in Assam in the last week of June. Poachers killed the tiger outside protected area of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve ( TATR ) , skinned it and  placed the bones in a sack. Almost 40% of  India's tigers – more than 1000-live outside the protected area and the region where the Maharashtra tiger was killed is considered as a conflict zone with large cases of man tiger conflict. People here just hate tigers. Hunted and Hounded, The Tiger Runs for Life This episode, an eye opener for the investigating agencies, has all the elements which pose serious threat   to the survival of the tiger and also a major challenge to t

Another Cheetah Dies in Kuno as African Experts Plea the Sc for Transparency in the Project

  While reporting for  television and the print media during a long period of over three decades , I noticed a tendency of Indian bureaucracy - most of the bureaucrats in India seem to have trained themselves for hiding information. There is also lack of transparency especially while dealing with the community outside their sphere. International experts in cheetah translocation project  in Kuno national park are also experiencing the same issue. During the recent cheetah deaths, especially after July 11 when a male cat died, the first from alleged  satellite tracking -collar abrasion, it was revealed that the African experts were  begging for information from India officials .There was a delay of more than 24 precious hours when some details, not all, reached the African experts as Indian authorities  made "assumptions"  over  the injury  caused  to  Tejas, the male cheetah by a female. He later died. He was followed by Suraj but the reason was the same, deterioration of the