Of animals, fear and the mob

If something makes me sad today, it’s the news of two leopards being killed. One in J&K and the other in Nashik. The leopard being hounded in Nashik was broadcast on TV and the poor creature was attempting to just make an escape. Instead, people were trying to hit it, chase it, crowd it, making it even more jittery.

The sight of so many human beings probably unsettled the leopard as it kept running helter-shelter in an effort to dodge the guards and police. The locals finally cornered the leopard and hit the animal with sticks after which the forest department tranquilised it.

But the leopard died later and the post mortem report said the animal died of fear. According to reports, three people received minor injuries.

The mob can be rather cruel. I remember when I was studying in TISS, that grand, self-virtuous institution, with a campus full of monkeys, a dog and crows, there used to be some snakes. One particular snake, unfortunately too beautiful and too big not to be noticed was spotted by a few students. Despite assurances that it wasn’t poisonous, it was brought down the tree with sticks and mauled to death. At the most the snake would gobble a few rats and cause the monkeys to chatter with fear.

What amazes me is that it took seven hours for the forest officials to even try and sedate the animal and take it to a safe place. Who trains them?

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One Response to Of animals, fear and the mob

  1. Usually convincing people that the snake is a ‘bhoomi rakshak’ works wonders in preserving them and prevent anyone from killing them. Who said all superstitions are bad?