The crossing.... (young female leopard)
... I was on my way for a safari, driving along the state highway on the edge of the national park when a 'lump' caught my eye... I can't explain it, it just looked a little out of place, so i slowed to take a better look. To my astonishment, it was a leopard, crouching in the scrub on the right side of the road waiting to cross. I sat and watched, smiling. Then a stupid car behind me, flew past me honking it's horn. The leopard panicked and dashed across the road in front of the idiot driver, who only narrowly missed hitting it. The car drove on, but the leopard looked back straight at me, paused briefly, then sauntered into the forest.
I had my camera ready and with me, so managed to get this shot. It is not the best shot, but a particularly memorable one for me. For those driving threw/near forests, please be mindful of the wildlife. We are invading their home, not the other way around. If things had gone slightly differently, this would have been a depressing image of a dead leopard on a road. So i look at this image and think how fragile life is, and how clumsy humanity is.
The government here in Karnataka is constantly arguing with it's neighbouring states about road access. In order to get from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu or Kerala, you need to drive through the elephant belt, which includes several national parks, tiger reserve, the niligiri biosphere, or the western ghats. The Karnataka government close these roads from 6pm until 6am (give or take) in order to give the animals some piece, a restriction the southern states dislike as it limits their movement. Stick to your guns Karnataka, limit access and remain the state with the biggest tiger growth in India.
The Indian leopard is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent and classified as ''Near Threatened'' by IUCN since 2008. The species ''Panthera pardus'' may soon qualify for the ''Vulnerable'' status due to habitat loss and fragmentation, heavy poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts in Asia, and persecution due to conflict situations. They are becoming increasingly rare outside protected areas. The trend of the population is decreasing.
The Indian.. more