Another tragedy – Keep children safe in low light hours

I’ve been in the Kathmandu Valley a few days, I’m behind in replies to people but for now it’ll just be comms re relevant stuff, not chit chat, there’s a lot going on.  Very sadly, a little boy was taken by a leopard last night here in the Valley, he was walking back from a shop in evening light.  There’s been several children taken across South Asia in the last month, it’s not a rare occurrence anyway but there’s a strong pattern of repeat killings meaning individual cats will look for opportunity once they take on this behaviour.

So once again it’s incredibly important we don’t give them the opportunity.  Children, in low light conditions and on their own are particularly prone, we have to adapt to that, be vigilant, take extra care.  I sent messages back to Bardia this morning, asking for extra care after changed behaviour of a leopard.  The death of a child in these circumstances is incredibly tragic and can set off a whole chain of events.  As someone who understands the grief of loss when someone that age dies suddenly but also sees the carnage of how many leopards are dying as well, all I can say is that balance of thought is required.  This is not easy in traumatic circumstances.

Pragati is currently in the sky, winging her way to keynote speak at a conference in Sydney.  My thanks to the Environment Protection Authority for inviting, facilitating and financing, I would love to have attended but feel it better that Pragati does.  I’m busy in the field but besides that Pragati will do a great job, she has great understanding of the situation and I feel happy the words will come from a Nepali national who cares about this situation.  I’m sending video and the aspects of coexistence, rehabilitation and wildlife crime are on the table, the leopard being the theme.

Living with leopards can be manageable with the right strategies.  I guess that’s what saddens me about the deaths on both sides, so many could have been prevented if our strategies were properly resourced.  We will keep fighting to make this happen.  Coexistence will never be easy but more lives can be protected, saved of both people and leopards, than is currently happening.

There’s a project update coming up but for now it’s full focus on the issues right in front of us.

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