The beauty and character of big cat land… but things are not good for the leopard

There are places in South Asia where the beauty can blow your mind.  The world’s biggest mountains to steamy Kiplingnesque jungles.  A myriad of cultures can often mask the problems of over population.  Terrain as varied as our planet can provide challenges, excitement and calm, all within moments.

And there is the wildlife, including of course the great cats, the tiger, the snow leopard and the leopard.

I thank those who read these updates and blogs.  I thank those even more who provide tangible support.  Most of my correspondence with main supporters is direct through email, I try to give a measure of happenings through social media and I’ll try to update this page weekly.

As I write this we have a vet travelling several hours to a situation where yet another leopard has been injured.  Another of our team is working long hours on the wildlife crime situation, mainly with regard to leopards, we’ll have a lot of correspondence during the day, and into the night.  Someone else is attending to work in the leopard rehab area, the sub adult Dipnani still on course for reintroduction to the wild.

I will not be in the jungle today, it is a day of coordination of activities in several places.  Three sim cards are in operation and several messaging Apps are open on my laptop.  The work does not finish.

Leopard body part seizures are happening in a serious spike, injuries to leopards in conflict situations are also ongoing.  Our work within the realms of coexistence, rehabilitation and anti trafficking/poaching is thus also in continuum.  So this is not the update I had planned but things in leopard land are fluid.  Unfortunately they are not good.

The frustration of that is they could be so much better.  The elements that hinder that are connected to humans.  I’ve written before that the marginalization of the leopard is perhaps symbolic of an overall loss of connection to nature but there are also other dynamics at play and I have to admit that the overall lack of support for the leopard from governments, big orgs and public mean I have certain days of shaking my head.  I take solace in the people who are totally dedicated and committed and one day a book will tell of some of the incredible sacrifices and risks taken.

We can do better for this great cat, we can do better for wildlife, we can do better for the planet and despite everything, I do have hope things can turn round.  It’s just that on a daily basis places of beauty are being removed of an animal of beauty.  It is worth fighting extremely hard to stop that happening.

A colleague and close friend, Marty Coss, speaks of certain animals being on a different plane, what he calls higher frequency levels.  We communicate on this subject continually and although Marty’s main study is eagles, he relates this thinking to many beings.  There’s no doubt the leopard operates on a level we can never fully understand.  However, every time we lose one I can’t help but think we have lost part of ourselves.  I wish a few more people understood that.  Until they do, and support for the leopard increases, we do our best.

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