‘My mom was killed, my home destroyed!’
In a self narrative, Leo the Leopard tells us about his life, his short scary visit to Bangalore and his perspective on life and humanity.
I am tired. I am old now. I can barely hunt. And humans stole my home!
Around seven years ago I was born in south Bangalore in the middle of the forest Turahalli. The first two years of my life were great. My mom got me food, taught me to hunt, climb trees and fish in the river. Her greatest lesson for me was to stay in harmony with nature.
Then one day, it happened. I was too young to comprehend what was happening. They came from the north - huge machines cutting down the forest. The force of its metal arms was that of fifty elephants combined. Trees were crumbling down to the pressure as if made of paper. My mother grabbed me by my neck and started running down south. From the corner of my eyes I could see our home crashing down to the ground.
My mom had quickly spotted the tiny humans operating these deadly demons of destruction from inside. “Turn around and run, if you see me falling. And don’t stop. Just keep running away from here.” These were her last words to me and with a swift turn she sprinted towards the human operators. She had barely reached midway when suddenly aimed arrows flew at her torso from all directions. I could hear my mom shriek in pain. With a final growl she reordered me to Run. I ran and ran as much as I could. Away from the carnage, away from the deaths, from my mom’s death.
It took me a lot of time to get back to my senses and for the next three years I lived in solitude near the southern-most end of the forest.
Finally one day the mynahs came tweeting with a peaceful message. The humans had stopped cutting down the trees. They had built sanctuaries for us on the forest they had once destroyed. They had promised to give back the stolen lands.
I decided to go back home and start afresh. I reached the northern forest only to stand shocked again. News and reality were poles apart. The humans had used most of the land for cultivation and housing. They had built concrete trees with no leaves on a land which was once my home. The sanctuary was only about one tenth the size expected. And it was fenced!
I was in anguish, disgusted at the injustice done on the animals of Turahalli forest. I decided to go to the Law. I had heard of a moral legal system of humans where ‘truth alone triumphs’. I decided to give that a shot.
I started my journey to the Bangalore high court to stand for the rights of animals of Bangalore. It was not more than twenty minutes into human civilization that I realized I was unwelcome here. They attacked me. They assumed I had come for their young. Nobody was ready to listen to me.
Stones were pelted, knives were thrown, bamboos were flung, acute agony filled each bone. I ran back bleeding and bruised but most importantly soul-broken and confused.
There is no justice, no law in the land of humans. No equality. None whatsoever for animals. We’re called wild but their actions are wilder than anything I’ve ever seen. Democracy, animal welfare and the legal system are a joke on humanity.
My mom was killed, my home was destroyed, my childhood stripped of memories and myself beaten to the bones. I have had many experiences in life and the most disgusting ones have been with humans.
‘I am tired, I am old. Badly hurt in body and soul. I’m returning back to my southern solitude. Laying in peace amidst the woods. The mighty message of my mother’s nurture fills my head. Stay in harmony with nature, or soon you’d be dead!’