CHAMARAJNAGAR: Even as locals and tribals are demanding that Biligiri Ranganathswamy Hills be declared a tiger reserve, one person sustained injuries in an attack by the big cat.
G Vasantharaju, a resident of a tribal hamlet, was travelling downhill on his two-wheeler, when the tiger attacked him. But he escaped with minor injuries and is admitted to hospital at Yelandur. This is first time that a human has come under attack by the big cat at the forested area, once dominated by slain brigand Veerappan. Some one year ago, a tiger had killed a person at Gopalswamy hills near Bandipur national park.
But wildlife activists said there is no need to worry about tiger attacks, terming Vasantharaju’s incident an isolated case. There is no history of humans being attacked by tigers at B R Hills, said H P Ashwin, a wildlife activist working on a tiger project in the forest area. Tribals are in the forested area but there are no instances of any attack, he pointed out, adding that they do not face any threat.
They said tigers generally don’t become man hunters unless they are too infirm and can’t hunt.
The home dept wants a bravery award for API Vikas Dhas, but the forestry ministry is busy bringing three counts of violations of the Wildlife Act by Karad leopard killer
Posted On Monday, January 17, 2011 at 12:36:07 AM
In the Maharashtra government, apparently the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. While the State’s home department is applauding assistant police inspector (API) Vikas Dhas for saving a man from being mauled by a leopard in Karad last week, and is even considering nominating him for a bravery award, the forest department is busy conducting an inquiry after booking the police officer for killing the wild animal.
Home minister R R Patil, who was in his hometown Sangli on Sunday, publicly appreciated Dhas’ “brave act”, saying, “API Dhas, though this single act, has made Maharashtra police proud. The State government has taken due note of his bravery and presence of mind that saved the lives of many people. We will be declaring an award for Dhas very soon.”
What Patil did not mention was the order issued by the ministry headed by his colleague from Sangli, forests minister Patangrao Kadam, because of which API Dhas has found himself in a legal tangle.
Karad Forest Range Officer B K Padwal told Pune Mirror on Sunday that Dhas had been booked under Sections 2, 9 and 42 of the Wildlife Protection Act, that deal with illegal hunting, possession and transportation of a wild animal. “We are following our procedure. However, we have been going slow due to public sentiment,” he said.
Kadam’s ministry has steadfastly stuck to their stand that the leopard, who might have been hungry, could have been saved. Padwal maintained police did not handle the situation in the right manner. “They should have first evacuated people from the area, and then tried to capture the animal. Our investigations so far show that the leopard was attacked, both by the public and the police. It was shot dead within a matter of eight minutes,” Padwal said.
The forest official said the leopard was hungry and may have entered the town, 160 km south of Pune, on January 9 in search of food. When the big cat was attacked, he retaliated and pinned down a man, Hanumant Mane. At this point, API Dhas arrived on the scene and fired twice at the leopard, killing him.
Dhas told Pune Mirror, “I do not know what the forest officials are talking about. They took my version of the incident on the second day of the incident. After that, they haven’t called me.” The police officer has consistently maintained that the forest department was totally unaware of the ground reality.
Despite facing an inquiry under the Wildlife Protection Act, Dhas is now overwhelmed by the support he has been receiving lately from the police fraternity. “DGP saheb (director general of police D Sivanandan), after seeking information on the incident, handed over Rs 30,000 as an award. He also told me that my name will be recommended for the President’s bravery award,” Dhas told Pune Mirror.
Inspector General of Police (Kolhapur Range) Bagwantrao More, who was in Karad on Friday, met the API and appreciated his act of saving human lives. People of Karad too have come out in his support.
Local environment activist Nana Khamkar has sought a detailed inquiry into the fact that the leopard entered the centre of a big town like Karad. “Forest authorities have a lot of explaining to do. Only six months ago, police had seized a smuggled leopard skin in nearby Umbraj village. Was the big cat caught and brought in Karad by someone? We, as citizens, want to know,” Khamkar said.
Mirror tried contacting Kadam for his version on his office number and cellphone, but there was no response. Dhas, though, is taking the inquiry business in his stride. “It was a split-second decision. I had to choose between the life of a human and an animal. I chose to save the human. I am ready to face the consequences, whatever they may be.”
API Dhas has made Maharashtra police proud. The State government has taken due note of his bravery and presence of mind that saved the lives of many people. We will be declaring an award for Dhas very soon.” —R R Patil, State home minister
It was a split-second decision. I had to choose between the life of a human and an animal. I chose to save the human. I am ready to face the consequences, whatever they may be.”—API Vikas Dhas
While watching the Skip the bobcat story on ABC I came across this news post about our Fur Ball last year that I had not remembered seeing before.
TAMPA, Fla. – The sights are stunning to say the least: a tiger swims gracefully, a lion shows off its fearsome teeth and cougars play chase.
Big Cat Rescue is a wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Tampa but it can't do the work all on it's own.
On Saturday, Action News contributor, Sean Daly got a look at the magic that happens everyday and how you can support it.
The vision for Big Cat Rescue started with one disturbing trip in 1993. Founder Carole Baskin says she and her former husband were interested in raising a couple of bobcats.
The couple found someone selling the cats in Minnesota. Baskin says when they arrived, they discovered a fur farm.
The couple bought all 56 cats in the facility to save them from being killed.
Today, the sanctuary tries to educate people about why keeping exotic animals as pets is a bad idea. In their experience, most people get exotic cats as kittens. Those kittens are manageable for about two years, then they toughen up and cost a lot more to feed. At that point, people start to abandon the exotic pets.
Baskin says some of the abuse and neglect they've seen is heartbreaking.
Baskin admits that during the early years of the sanctuary, she and her husband didn't really know what they had gotten into. The couple bred some of their cats, believing it was necessary to perserve the species.
Now Baskin wants to make sure no one else makes that mistake.
Big Cat Rescue encourages laws that forbid breeding or owning exotic pets. They've also been asked to help draft legislation.
Every year, Big Cat Rescue raises money for their cause with a Fur Ball.
This year's event takes place Friday, October 8th at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa.
You'll enjoy live music, a gourmet dinner and live and silent auctions. You can even bid on paintings created by some of the big cats.
Individual tickets to the Fur Ball are $150. You can also reserve a VIP table for parties of 10.
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue an Educational Sanctuary home to more than 100 big cats 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625 813.493.4564 fax 885.4457 Carole.Baskin@BigCatRescue.org http://www.BigCatRescue.org
TAMPA – Rescuing stray cats is nothing new for Nici and Skip Haerter, but their latest rescue is no ordinary cat.
“I love animals and there was never a question in my mind. I’d do whatever it took,” Nici said.
While driving down Highway 46 in Sorrento, Nici saw a wild bobcat in the grass. Except, the wild bobcat wasn’t acting very wild.
He wasn’t really moving at all, likely hit by a car.
Nici called Skip for help. He brought his truck and loaded the bobcat in, which was the easy part because the cat was still suffering from shock.
When they arrived home, the scene was different.
“Growling real bad. Hissing, fighting at the blanket, his claws were going like crazy,” Skip recounted.
The couple had a friend bring a large dog crate over. They carefully handled the wild animal, feisty despite massive injuries.
“I just don’t have a fear when it comes to hurt animals,” Skip said. The Haerter’s secured the bobcat, now named after Skip, a spot at Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue.
“We weren’t even sure he was going to live,” founder Carole Baskin said. “His spleen looked like it was totally annihilated. He had a lot of internal bleeding.” His pelvis was completely shattered as well, but he pulled through the first critical days and hours worth of surgery.
Dr. Callum Hay and his team with Veterinary Surgical Services donated $3,000 worth of labor on New Year’s Eve to rebuild the bobcat’s hips. Today, cameras track his progress to minimize human contact, but they’ve actually maximized it.
“People are just addicted to watching this cat and making sure he’s going to have the best possible life,” Baskin said.
Live streaming video of “Skip” has gotten more than 36,000 hits in just a couple weeks.
He’s also got two Facebook fan pages, already with more than 200 friends. “I’ve gotten Facebook messages from Sweden, Canada,” Nici said. “He’s literally touched lives all over the world.”
The Haerter’s think it’s because people are looking for something to believe in, and hope for, right now.
Though Nici wasn’t looking for anything.
She found skip because she took a wrong turn down Highway 46 that day, but looking back, maybe it was the right turn.
“I don’t believe in coincidence. I was sent there for a reason.”
To donate to the Big Cat Rescue, visit their website
For the cats, Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue an Educational Sanctuary home to more than 100 big cats 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625 813.493.4564 fax 885.4457 Carole.Baskin@BigCatRescue.org http://www.BigCatRescue.org Caring for cats – Ending the trade Join more than 37,000 Big Cat Rescue fans http://www.facebook.com/BigCatRescue Twitter: Follow Me and get a free wild cat screen saver or ecard account @BigCatRescue