‘I cried. I could see the pain and suffering, the helplessness in his eyes as he lay on the ground.’
These were the words as written to me by journalist Karishma Hasnat who was at the scene two days ago where a mob killed a leopard. The incident in Assam is another in a series of brutal killings, Karishma’s initial report on this latest one is HERE, there’s been arrests since, more in an update soon.
I’m really busy with LeopardEye at the moment, the on the ground tech side integral to #AntiSnare plus in the evenings there is a lot of follow up including the case above. There’s contact with DFOs, law enforcement, journalists among others so as to get the feel for incidents in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the South Asian hotbeds where the leopard is getting smashed.
So this isn’t the intended blog post, that will have to wait a few days but in it the word ‘frenzy’ will be examined, it is a word used by Karishma yesterday. She was very right to bring it up. The frenzy that exists in the mob mentality when leopards die brutally in these incidents, the frenzy that exists in media and social media when everyone starts chipping in from celebrities to people on the other side of the planet, the frenzy that is the blame game that always follows these events and so importantly the frenzy that is development that is shrinking leopard habitat.
It seems everyone else is to blame, not many take responsibility.
I’ve seen that look Karishma is talking about, I’ve heard that final roar, I’ve witnessed that innocent animal on its last legs, before its last breath. Leopards are dying in deeply disturbing numbers in deeply disturbing ways. There’s no one single factor why this is happening, the only thing for sure is that humans are at the root of the cause…