1.10.2012

Welcome to the jungle

We are pulling six day work weeks at the center for the next while in order for us all to compensate for closing the week between Christmas and New Years. I am only telling you this so that you, along with me, can be thankful that I wasn't wandering the streets of Guwahati on Saturday as I might normally on any given weekend afternoon. You see, on Saturday I found myself elbow deep in inventory when it was casually mentioned that there was a leopard on the streets. Seeing that I live in a jungle area, I am actually quite surprised that this is the first time I have heard of this. I used to live in the foothills in college and mountain lions used to hang out on campus a few times a year. That's something that happens when humans cause deforestation but I digress...

Hours later, I leave to walk home when I saw the center director and I jokingly inquired as to wether the leopard had been caught because I didn't want to get munched. The reply was yes, it was caught, and I went on walking home. Fast forward to the next afternoon when I am perusing HuffPost and see this headline : "Leopard Mauls Three People." Naturally I gasped and clicked on the link and read the article which you can read here (do not click if you don't like graphic photos). Spoiler: The leopard totally scalped a guy. A leopard scalped a guy down the street from me and I'm just joking about it being loose like I didn't know it was a wild animal and that it might actually hurt someone?? Also, the next day one of the men it attacked ended up passing away but I guess the doctors and the police think there was some foul play involved. As in, the leopard started mauling him and the family tried to "beat the leopard away" but "accidently" took the opportunity to beat the man to death? I'm not really sure. The article on HuffPost was written before he passed away.

It is terrible that the man passed away and two others were attacked, I of course would never want such a traumatizing event to happen to anyone so I don't at all what I am about to say to be misinterpreted. Now that that's clear, I want you to know that the leopard was caught because a tuk tuk driver was able to corner it into a home and shut the door until it could be tranquilized. It was planned that today it would be released back into the jungle. I am really proud that as a culture, the people here respect wild animals and though the leopard freaked out and attacked, it wasn't killed. It was treated humanely and with the understanding that when you encroach on a wild environment that sometimes the consequences are felt. It definitely opened my eyes to a whole different side of existence here....

6 comments:

  1. That is so crazy! I am so sorry that man passed away, but I love that the culture there is to respect wild animals rather than put it down. amazing! Glad you were safe!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's insane! I guess the same thing can happen in the states, only with bears and pumas and things. Different worlds.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sobering thoughts, indeed.

    As a Brit, I still find it unbelieveable that you have wild animals roaming the streets in America! Our biggest carnivores are badgers :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah that is a refreshing worldview. It's not the damn leopard's fault really, that's what they do! But wow, carry some leopard spray with you. You know, like bear spray... this is reminding me of this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0UJaprpxrk&feature=related (around 2:40)

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh my gosh, those photos!!!! Holy wow! Crazy.

    It's nice they didn't kill the leopard, go people of Guwahati! If that happened here, the animal would have been shot.

    ReplyDelete