Thursday, 28 July 2011


Two leopard skins and one gun was seized along with the arrest of a poacher and a trader in Mussoorie Forest Division, Uttarakhand, INDIA. The skins were seized on 19th July 2011 in a joint operation of Wildlife Trust of India and the forest department. Two persons were immediately arrested, but they managed to escape taking advantage of the tough terrain and night time. Their whereabouts were tracked and the forest department arrested both of them and send them to jail. On 27th July, the forest department was successful in arresting the actual poacher, Mr.Gulab Singh of village Bhaal, Thatyur block of Tehri district along with his licenced gun which he used for poaching the leopards. According to the accused, he had fired a leopard at night 18 months ago, thinking that a wild boar had come to raid his fields. But why did he trade the skin then? The other arrested trader is Mr.Raghubir Singh also of Thatyur. The third person arrested was the taxi driver, Mr.Sanjay Singh, according to whom his taxi had been booked from Thatyur to Mussoorie and he had no knowledge of the crime. He will have to prove his innocence in court. The villagers of the area were very helpful in getting the culprits arrested. This is a major achievement as usually villagers do not give information against their own villagemates.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


A day long combined operation of the Uttarakhand Forest Department and the Wildlife Preservation Society of India on 22nd July 2011 culminated in the arrest of three persons with three leopard skins seized from them. The seizure took place at night 8 O' Clock at a remote locality called Shama in District Bageshwar of Uttarakhand, India. The main accused is

Monday, 11 July 2011


The flights at JFK Airport at Newyork were delayed for up to one and a half hours due to a mating spree of 78 diamond backed terrapins (a kind of turtle) on the runway. One of the pilot noticed the animals on the runway and immediately aborted his take off and informed the controls.
If the flights of New York can wait for so long for helping these animals out, why can't we even slow our vehicles for a second to allow any animal to cross the road?
For detailed news on the JFK flight delay, see the link below.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Photos: K.S.Sajwan                                               Click on picture to enlarge
King Cobra with hood up- Photo.K.S.Sajwan

King cobra guarding its nest

The magnificient King Cobra has nested once again in the Himalayan District of Nainital. The first nesting was observed at Talla Ramgarh at 1500m a few years ago and was successfully protected by Manish of Tapogiri, the locals, NGOs and the forest department and the hatchlings were released in the wild. The same locality reported repeated nesting and hatching since then. King Cobra was found upto 2000m in this region. Now, a new nest has been found at Jeolikote at around 1300m altitude. A large king cobra is presently guarding the nest made of leaf litter in a forest lease land presently being cultivated by a local villager. The forest department has immediately taken the role of protecting the nest and the eggs within. The visitors and villagers have been kept 100m away from the nesting site by a wire fencing. Amit Verma IFS, the Divisional Forest Officer of Haldwani has set up a CCTV at the nesting site so that the activity of the mother and other activities can be seen and shown to visitors too from a remote locality. He has pitched a tent away from the site for this purpose. The above photos were taken by Mr.Kalyan Singh Sajwan, a senior assistant of the Nainital Forest Division. The mother was seen repairing the nest after a severe rain had done some damage to it. It moves in a circle around the nest and in the mean time lifts leaf litter to make a pile in a shape of a dome. After repairing the nest, it sits on top of it and guards the nest from predators. However, as the prey of king cobras are snakes, themselves, there is a danger of the mother eating up the hatchlings. Hence, nature has made the design in such a grand manner that the mother would abandon the nest before the eggs are ready to hatch!!!
 In the earlier nesting at Talla Ramgarh, the mother abandoned the nest one month prior to hatching. The nest was protected from fire and enclosed with a sheet so that the hatchlings could be seen before they leave the nest. A total of 21 eggs hatched out of which 19 hatchlings survived till the first moulting. They were later released in a jungle near by, slightly away from the habitation nearby. Given below are the photographs of the earlier hatching of king cobras at Ramgarh.  According to Shri.Bijulal.T.R. IFS, the Divisional Forest Officer of Nainital, "The parental care of Kingcobras is one of the most amazing phenomenon in the Animal Kingdom!!!".
A baby King Cobra
King Cobras have always been there in the higher himalayas too as the deep crevasses in the rocky ground provided temperatures befitting the species. They were locally known as "Soopy samp" due to their large hood looking like a winnow board ('Soopa' in hindi). However, they were never photographed till 2005 when the first nest was found in Ramgarh, which is the highest published record of this species. The highest unpublished report of Kingcobra is at Kanar Van Panchayat at around 2800m altitude. The Goriganga valley of Askote Wildlife sanctuary also has a good population of Kingcobras. They are also found in pine forests and makes nest out of pine needles. The villagers are aware of a 'snake' that lays eggs under heaps of pine needles and they usually burn the nest out of fear. Such nest was recently reported at Lohaghat too.

COBRA SNAKE SEIZED IN RISHIKESH along with leopard skin

A live Cobra snake and a leopard skin was seized near Rishikesh in Narendra nagar Forest Division,

Friday, 1 July 2011


A tiger was sighted at midnight hours in light drizzle and mist at Hairpin Bend no.2 on Kaladungi Nainital road by the Divisional Forest Officer, Nainital, Mr.Bijulal IFS when he was returning from Dehradun to Nainital yesterday. It was a sub adult and was trying to chase a sambhur, which had just crossed the vehicle just a few metres away. The tiger stopped on the road side in the light of the vehicle and then went away into the jungle. Mr. Bijulal is also the person behind making of the feature film MISSION TIGER (  and said that this was the first tiger sighting in the wild during his tenure.
This area has been earlier also reported to be Tiger country, with the Bor river nearby and saltlicks also in the Sal forest. The Bubudham temple also has attached sacred value to the forest here. The nearby Camp Corbett Resort personnel has also sighted tigers here in the past and regularly sees pugmarks too.


A shepherd poisoned a snow leopard to death in Pindari glacier area of Bageshwar district in Uttarakhand early this season. According to the shepherd,