A kid learns about leopards, what we do to live with them … but how much do I tell him?

It’s midnight, another long leopard day, so much going on. The little kid you can see on the left in the collage, he’s Raj, he delivers buffalo milk to me at 6am every day. I need the protein, things are quite difficult with supplies at the moment so the milk is a godsend. Raj and I have become buddies, and with social distancing he learns a bit about leopards for a few minutes each day now. Today I told him about camera traps and tomorrow (actually today, it’s past midnight now) I’ll show him the image you can see of Nirajan putting out a camera tonight to monitor a conflict situation, a leopard killed four goats near a village, a lot of children live there. Every day (and night) there’s things to be done to coexist with leopards but we make every effort … and it pretty much works, not perfect but if you make the effort, do your best to understand the situation and care, then yes, coexistence can be managed. This is the model we strive for. But at what stage do I tell Raj about how many leopards are dying in all different ways in places where the effort is not being made? (See my recent posts here and at Facebook and Twitter) Soon, because he has to know, just like the other kids in the classes which are on hold at the moment. It’s important the kids know the truth, some of them will have careers in wildlife protection, for sure but in the main they will have the skills to understand how to coexist. Yes, it all requires effort … but it works. More soon as we kick off ‘The Importance of Leopards’ concept … right now I need a little sleep…