The voices of those who matter

Maurice shares the stories, concerns and anecdotes of those who live side by side with the snow leopard.

 

“I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them.”
― George H.W. Bush

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a story. Everyone has doubts. This makes all men equal. Even if the opinions are wrong, the stories rubbish and the doubts unnecessary. Men will still be equal in this regard. Some more equal than others but that is another story.

During our research in Sagarmatha we have talked to hundreds of people who have shared their stories, thoughts and fears with us.We feel like we got to know them pretty well; bBoth rich and poor – and everyone had an opinion. These are the people who live side by side with the snow leopard, and its often far from the romantic view of perfect coexistence  between man and beast that we long to believe in. So what do they have to say, after all they are largely the ones who matter.  We’ll tell you.

The Comedians

In response to a question regarding how they felt about the snow leopard:

–          “I havent seen it, but it is a good asset. If we didnt have Mt. Everest and snow leopards Nepali’s would go mad.

–          “Snow leopards should have all their teeth removed”

–          “Becauseit is rare and better than dogs”

–          “Snow leopards only like salty meat thats why they eat cattle”

–          “The Snowleopard is a wild animaland it could attack children after it is done with the Livestock”

–          “We have children, so we have to choose between watching our children and our livestock”

–          “We cant even see it how can we kill it. None of us own riffles, and its really big”

The Apathetic

In response to a question regarding how they felt about the snow leopard:

–          “I dont understand it, so I dont feel anything about it”

–          “There is no use for the snowleopard in this area”

–          “Cause it lives in forest and its no use”

–          “The Snowleopard is a scary animal, how can anyone kill it”

–          “It will kill livestock but we canno tkill it as we believe it is a goddess”

The Heartbroken

In response to a question regarding how they felt about the snow leopard:

–          “I have no income and the animal does not make it easy”

–          “I hate it, it eats my livestock. I cried.”

–          “It gives us lots of trouble by eating our livestockand making us poor”

–          “It should be killed then it wont trouble people”

–          “I respect life of snow leopard but they kill our livestock so in future i don’t want them to be present here”

The Buddhists

In response to a question regarding how they felt about the snow leopard:

–          “It is god’s pet. If we kill it we will be cursed”

–          “Our religion doesn’t allow us to kill. Even the  national park doesn’t allow us to kill”

–          “God created the animal, it should be allowed to exist”

–          “Why should we kill, they also have the right to live, their lives are equal to us”

–          “We cannot kill it, it kills our livestock.When the snow leopard cries we believe its bad luck and someone in the village will die”

–          “We dont kill, Its not good to kill anything, not even an insect”

The Conservationists

In response to a question regarding how they felt about the snow leopard:

–          “Snow Leopards add to the beauty of the Himalayas”

–          “Killing is sin. Snow leopard is our property so it should be protected for future”

–          “It’s good to have new animal in park so that foreigner will also have new animals to see”

–          “Its a good asset for the tourism industry and having snow leopards in our village will make us popular”

–          “Snow leopards could get extinct like the dinosaur, I dont think there is more than ten in this area, conservation is necessary”

These are the voices of the people who matter. Some are hilarious. Some are genuinely heartbreaking. Conservationists like us can say what we like about the need to protect our disappearing wildlife but there are others out there who also have thoughts on the matter and we need to listen and understand their concerns. Only then will conservation ever have a chance of being successful.

The majestic Snow Leopard

The majestic Snow Leopard

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One response to “The voices of those who matter

  1. Pingback: The voices of those who matter II | Snow Leopard Research Nepal

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