Worrying distress signals from India. An ‘it-happens-only-in-India moment’ occurred recently. A man on a bike crashed with a leopard in the Indian Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. A wildlife photographer captured the event for posterity. The leopard crushed under the bike. The men in a flurry of flailing arms, legs, and fear. Each one got up and ran off. And as of now, men and beast seem to be alright.

The picture went on to show though. How protected areas are not protected. Like from mundane issues that can plague animals. Currently events, both bizarre and unfortunate, are unfolding in three reserves. The lockdown has generally been tough on wildlife. This lead to a reported spike in poaching of several species. It is now revealed that no less than seven tigers have gone missing from the Ranthambore Reserve. This reserve is arguably one of India’s best-known reserves. Officials say four tigers plus two cubs are missing. NGOs claim the number is closer to seven. This follows mysterious deaths of tigers in Mukundara Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore’s neighbouring reserve. More distress signals coming up.

The full article was published by Bloomberg Quint on April 12, 2021.