Namaste, Jack here in western Nepal. This post is a precursor to a more comprehensive project update later in the month. It’s a busy time (well, it always is really) but I just wanted to touch on a certain aspect regarding the secret lives of leopards.
In the images below you can see another leopard and an elephant visiting a leopard rehab den in an isolated jungle area.
The rehab den has several sections allowing the recovering leopard space to climb, hide and be part of the jungle. This enables interaction with many other species in a safe way, we’ve even had tiger visit this particular area but obviously at higher altitudes different species are involved. Monitoring is done through camera systems and manual checks but human contact with rehab leopards is minimal.
One of the great challenges is making sure dens are elephant proof. A lot of blood (leech and mosquito bites) and sweat is bled/shed to make this happen. But so far so good.
Isolation and privacy for leopards is crucial, really for Asian big cats in general. This is a major stumbling block in human thinking and there are those in the tourism and conservation sectors who still don’t understand this. At the moment the LTF is finalizing protocols with authorities so that rehab dens using isolation from people thus enabling interaction with wildlife as a key to recovery, become the norm.
More on these strategies and other project news in the main update soon.