Carmen Iben, Global Animal
A report conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature last month revealed that at least four leopards are killed every week in India, skinned for their fur or even mauled for their bones.
Already, humans have recently been posing as a major threat to these endangered animals through exhausting the abundance of forests’ resources. While these leopards’ habitats have been wrecked, the population of their prey—unable to survive without the goods of the forest—have simultaneously decreased. Leopards are suffering in more ways than one at the hands of humans.
Currently, leopards are considered a near-threatened species because of their declining population in various countries, according to the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species. The primary reasons being hunting and deprivation of habitat.
Wildlife officials claim that there are roughly 10,000 leopards left in India, though this number is just an estimate.
These leopards are in high demand by countries like China who use the animals’ bones for Asian medicine. Other Asian countries demand leopards for their fur, which they cannot attain without killing the animal.
A recent report, Illuminating the Blind Spot: A Study on Illegal Trade in Leopard Parts in India, calculated that roughly 3,000 leopards have been trafficked in India during the last decade.
In addition, during these last 10 years, the study records that 420 seizures of
leopard skins, bones, and other body parts were reported from 209 localities in India.
The report recommends that India take initiative by first strengthening their wildlife enforcement, bettering their knowledge of leopards, and improving their understanding of leopard trade dynamics.
These leopard populations will only continue to decrease if India does not acknowledge the illegal animal trade that takes so many lives every week. Sign the petition to ban the poaching and killing of these big cats.