Leopards rescued in India
Orphaned leopard cubs with veterinarian Dr Karabi Deka
The following note was sent to HSI by the founders and operational directors of Wildlife SOS in India, and gives an update on progress with their leopard rescue program, which HSI supporters have helped fund:
' Dear Verna
We have terrific news for you.
We conducted a workshop on man leopard conflict and trained about 60 forest department personnel in tranquilising and translocation of problem leopards. The banner in the backdrop had the HSI logo, WSOS and the Maharashtra Forest Dept on it. The workshop worked to launch the HSI and WSOS leopard work in Maharashtra to a high start.
The leopard project (collaboration between WSOS and MHFD) supported by HSI now employs a full time leopard vet. This is a lady called Dr.Karabi Deka. She is hard working and likes her leopards. She trained at the Wildlife Institute of India. She stays in Junnar town and works all day at the Junnar Leopard Rehab center. The Project coordinator is Mr.Siddarth Edake who has a Masters in Wildlife Science & Biodiversity from Pune in Maharashtra.
We have currently 22 leopards in our care and we have just received two very cute leopard cubs that are giving us an opportunity of a lifetime to study leopard behaviour. These cubs were orphans and the mother was killed in a conflict situation with people in a sugarcane field. As usual, the danger is that we will be overrun with sad cases as this State is holding leopards, handicapped ones, injured ones, and healthy ones, in tiny cages over the past three to five years.
The Forest Department is expecting us to start footing the feeding bills from May month itself and we will need a lot of money to start feeding and caring for these leopards. We are in the process of recruiting and training keepers for the leopard center and have rented a small place for the vet to stay but will soon need to rent a small house to work from.
Thank you for all the help that HSI and its supporters have given us - the leopards are very, very grateful!
Geeta Seshamani and Kartick Satyanarayan'
Thanks to HSI supporters Wildlife SOS have their new leopard rescue vehicle