27th April 2016- The Speaking Tree Column: "It's Wild and Wonderful Without Humans", writes Narayani Ganesh
They are beautiful, the three leopard cubs. But they are being raised in captivity in the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), close to the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Their mother was beaten to death by tea plantation staff when she strayed into the tea garden, leaving behind three newborn cubs, yet to open their eyes to the world around them. Rescued by CWRC staff some 18 months ago, the cubs know of no other home than the enclosure they now live in.
What will become of them? Says veterinarian Panjit Basumatary, “The cubs don’t know how to survive in the wild. They don’t know how to hunt. Perhaps one day they’ll get sent to a zoo.” The other animals brought in due to injury or floods would be ministered to before being released again into the wild. But no such luck for the beautiful leopard cubs that were now baring their teeth and growling at me, obviously scared of strangers. Which is why visitors are normally not encouraged, unless it’s a special request, like when British Royals Kate and William visited here recently.
One leopard hid herself in a large pipe, her amber eyes flashing in the dark as she let out a low growl. The other two siblings raced up and down, and soon disappeared from sight, finding refuge in leafy corners, in what was now their haven...
Times Of India