The Heyvan Times brings you a weekly dose of news on animal affairs from across India, curated specially for animal buffs like us. Here are the top five of this week.
Elusive Snow Leopard caught on cam, photo goes viral
Wildlife photographer Saurabh Desai sent the internet on fire with his Instagram post–a photograph of a snowy cliff of the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary in the Himalayas, captioned “Art of camouflage.” The photograph has a camouflaged snow leopard clinging on the rocky mountains of Kibber in Spiti Valley. The post got 14,000 likes, claims the Business Standard report and his followers and netizens started sharing the photograph and challenging their friends to ‘spot the snow leopard’. Snow leopards are camera shy and hard to capture for ace lensmen, which is why it is also called ‘ghost of the mountains’. These big cats are found in the Himalayan range between 9800 feet and 18000 feet.
Goa forest department worried about increased tigers
It may be good news that tigers have been multiplying in Goa but the recent photographs of two cubs in Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in Sattari has forest department officials concerned. A Times of India report claims that the officials are worried that poachers will get news of the cubs. Tiger smuggling to China from India is already a threat. In February 2009, says the article, a corpse of an adult tiger was found at Keri in Sattari taluka after villagers reported that it roamed around in human occupied landscape for a while and that may have alerted the poachers to lay traps. Officials claim that a smuggled adult tiger costs Rs five crores in China and the cubs would cost lakhs of rupees.
Bear stoned to death in Kashmir
Not just humans but wildlife is equally threatened in Kashmir and this report proves it. Social media and news reported by Brighter Kashmir cites a wild bear killed by villagers in Zungalpora in Kulgam district of southern Kashmir on Tuesday evening. A video showing villagers attacking the bear with stones and beating it with harmful objects went viral on social media and many have called for action against the attackers. Cops have made an assurance that an FIR will be registered and attackers will be booked. The report also claims that cases of man-animal conflicts have been on the rise in the valley, mainly due to the constant interference of humans in the forest areas.
Indore’s stray dogs a threat to Sarus Cranes
The much hailed Swaccha city of India—Indore–poses a challenge to its magnificent Sarus Cranes. City-based bird expert Ajay Gadikar studied this phenomena and linked the cleanliness drive to it, says a report by The Times of India. Ajay claims that stray dogs have no leftovers to eat on the roads or parks and so, they attack the Sarus Cranes around the Yashwant Sagar lake. These cranes are the tallest non-migratory birds found in Southeast Asia and Australia, and Indore has been home to these for very long. The backwaters have shallow areas and reed beds, good for waders and other waterfowl and becomes the most promising breeding ground for these cranes, thus becoming easy prey for the dogs.
Jaipur-man saves city birds, launches Pakshi Awas Yojna
If you thought Awas Yojna (schemes to build homes for poor) are only for humans, here’s something new. Suraj Soni, 45, has already built 800 waterproof nests for the city birds of Jaipur. He calls it Pakshi Awas Yojan (birds housing scheme) and has a team of Pakshi Mitr (birds’ friend), who are young birders building these wooden nests and helping sparrows, pigeons and other local species survive. ANI reports says that Soni was moved to see birds struggling to find homes due to massive reduction of tree cover a few years back. He started building nests and placing water and food for birds in private and public spaces since 1999. Apart from the nests, he has also kept over 2000 earthen pots of water across the city.