Living with Big Cats (Bagh) in Nepal!

In Nepal, locals have a cultural view of leopards as “the vehicle of the Goddess Durga”, and this may also have influenced attitudes toward leopards (Thapar 1996). As a social norm in the Nepalese culture, blood is first offered to the Goddess Durga after livestock has been killed for human consumption (Bhusal 2014; Pariyar 2015).

The above-mentioned cultural and religious factors may contribute to the social acceptance of leopards, and may also promote values shaping the social resilience towards livestock depredation by leopards (Carter et al. 2015; Dickman et al. 2015; Pooley et al. 2016; Thapar 1996). Nevertheless, the economic and emotional costs of leopard depredation may also promoted retaliatory killing and poaching (Aryal 2015; Banks et al. 2006; Bhandari and Thapa 2015; Moe 2015; Sánchez‐Mercado et al. 2016).

Figure 1 A) Bagh Bhairav, general cultural meaning of big cats including common leopard in ancient Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal Himalaya. B) Woman respecting   dead leopard feet  for  blessing with flowers  and a poacher  on background  in the study area.

A                                             B

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