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When and how did leopards disappear from India, know the story from Mughal to British period

Eight leopards have been brought to India from the African country of Namibia on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday. Surprisingly, in a country that never had a dearth of leopards, leopards have disappeared. In 1952, India declared itself an ‘extinct cheetah’ country. How sad that our country became independent in 1947 and the country became leopard free in the same year. The last three leopards were killed in a hunt by Koria Maharaj, located in present-day Chhattisgarh state. In fact, if we look at the facts, it is known that the ‘hobby of hunting’ of the kings has made not only the leopard extinct, but also many other wild animals. There was a time when leopards were found all over the Indian subcontinent. He used to build houses in the bushes and perform stunts in the open grass field. India still has open grasslands. Yes, their area has definitely decreased. Yet the leopards disappeared.

Cheetah became extinct due to hunting hobby

The cheetah is the smallest of the cat species, but the fastest of all land animals. Leopards neither attack humans nor do they hunt humans. But humans have hunted many leopards. In the last week of July this year, the Union Environment Minister told Parliament that the explosion of Asiatic leopards found in India is mainly due to poaching and lack of suitable habitat. Mughal ruler Akbar is said to have had hundreds of leopards. However, the Mughal rulers also used to hunt leopards, after that the British government did not pay any attention to the conservation of this animal and the hunting hobby of the princes under them continued to fill Kulanche.

When leopards were domesticated

During the reigns and kings, leopards were caught from the forests and brought to the palaces. The kings-maharajas also started taking the help of leopards to fulfill their hunting hobby. Those cheetahs were trained to hunt wild animals, especially blackbuck. The Mughals took this practice much further. Wildlife historian Divya Bhanu Singh has written in the book ‘Lions, Cheetahs and Others in the Mughal Landscape’, Mughal Emperor Akbar took the cheetah to Jaipur for hunting. Jaipur is now the only airport in that region. There the leopard hunted so fast that Akbar got angry. The king put a jewel around the leopard’s neck and praised it by beating the drum.’ It is said that Akbar collected around 9 thousand leopards during his reign from 1556 to 1605.

Domesticated leopards are unable to reproduce

If a leopard is kept as a pet, its reproductive capacity is reduced. He likes to live in the open field. They live in the open and that’s when their offspring grow. The last time a domesticated leopard gave birth to a cub was in 1613 during the reign of the Mughal ruler Jahangir.

Leopards started disappearing from the time of British rule

By the beginning of British rule in India, the Asiatic leopard was rapidly disappearing. The British had mutual enmity over the hunting of wild animals. Since leopards are fearless and non-aggressive towards humans, they believed that hunting leopards did not provide opportunities for bravery. Since hunting leopards was not considered adventurous, the British kept their attention away from them. The effect of this was that no attention was paid to the protection of leopards in the British Empire. On the other hand, the price of leopards was also less.

Hunting decreased, imports also started

According to one statistic, between 1870 and 1925, an average of 1.2 leopards were poached each year. Also, 127 leopards were killed in the 150 years from 1800 to 1950, which is less than an annual average figure. However, the number of leopards did not increase that fast. This led some states to import leopards from Africa in the early 20th century. Cheetahs were first imported from abroad in 1918, and this trend continued until the early 1950s.

He last three leopards and then today

This picture of Maharaja Ramanuja Pratap Singh Dev holding a gun in his hand and standing with three dead leopards is going viral. The last three leopards of India are believed to be the same. However, a claim is also made that a leopard was spotted in Jharkhand in 1975. However, under the Modi government, a deal was struck to import leopards from Namibia and South Africa and leopards also reached India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the Cheetahs a standing ovation from the crowd at an event in Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh. He told the people of Madhya Pradesh that he will take care of the leopards, he has full faith.


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