Acting in self-defense or in defense of another person is generally accepted as legal justification for killing a person in human civilized law. Unfortunately, the same may not be applicable to the innocent and rare animals. The dumb animals are given the worst punishments and treated brutally for any crime they make.
The above statements are based on recent human leopard conflicts in Indian sub-continent. The number of conflicts between human and the big cat are increasing day by day. Within a span of a month there are large number of news coming from various parts of the country. In most of the cases , the innocent and beautiful animal is killed to death brutally.
Incidents of 2011
We are covering some of the news came into the media and published in past one month. Read these and provide your comments whether the wild cats need justice or not!
On January 13th, a leopard was beaten to death by villagers at Gandarpur in Orissa state. A group of children from Gandarpur village while playing cricket near the village saw the leopard behind a bush. When they raised an alarm, the villagers rushed to the spot and started pelting stones at the animal. Desperate to free itself from the brutal attack, the leopard started running while launching a counter attack on the people, injuring four villagers in the process. But the villagers didn’t stop, they finally beat the Leopard mercilessly to death with sticks, iron rods and cricket bats.
On January 12th, in Haryana’s Faridabad, a homeless Leopard straying around attacked a woman and injured her. The mob got so angry that they searched for the Leopard all around the village and finally punished to death in a brutal manner. The angry mob even broke tranquilizer guns brought by rescue teams.
On the afternoon of January 9, a policeman shot dead a rampaging leopard to stop it from mauling a man who had stepped out of a bar in Maharashtra’s Karad city.
On 20th January, two Leopards are found dead in Valsad of Guajarat. All but two nails of the male leopard were removed, as were the canines. The culprits had also cut off his tail and taken away some internal organs. The post-mortem of the female leopard revealed brain haemorrhage as the cause of death. Sad end to the wild beauties!
On January 20th, a leopard was killed in Udhampur when it was hit by a vehicle on Srinagar-Jammu highway.
On 31st December, a leopard is killed in North Kashmir by wildlife authority. The leopard was suppose to be a man-eater killing six people. Its unfortunate that the authority didn’t use tranquilizers to catch the leopard.
Similarly on December 15th, Yuvraj of the erstwhile state of Utelia near Dhandhuka, Bhagirathsinh Vaghela, shot aleopard that was believed to have turned maneater. The cat was shot around 6.30pm in a sugarcane field near Areth village, near Valsad, where a leopard had killed a 75-year-old woman on Monday morning. Forest officials said the leopard returned to the spot where it had left the body on Monday evening and was brought down. But later, post mortem reports confirmed that the leopard was not a man-eater!
A leopard that caused scare among local residents was caught in a trap laid at Bhopal Pani (Ballawala) by Forest and Wildlife Department officials on 20th December. It was tranquilized and then caged. The poor animal was lucky enough to survive from the wrath of the mob!
These are few occurrences just in a month. The list goes long if look back more into past. Who will provide justice to these animals?
Wildlife experts want rapid response teams set up in sensitive areas across the country to deal with human-leopard conflicts. But Its the government who needs to take some action as soon as possible. The Government needs to study all aspects of this complex problem if the majestic feline is to co-exist peacefully with humans.