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Showing posts from October 18, 2006

Dwindling crow population hampers Hindu ritual

The funerary rites of a dead person is only complete when the person performing the last rites pays offering to a cow, a dog and crow. There are slight variations in this ritual. In South India, especially in Kerala, the offering is only made to a crow. As of now, there is no dearth in the crow population in Kerala. But the situation is different in several cities in North India. Cows and dogs are available readily but not crows. So people pays offering to crow idols. Zeenews reports about the dwindling population of crows in Allahabad:"As a ritual for the ancestors we are supposed to feed a cow, a dog and a crow. Cow and dog are easily available but we could not find a crow. So we had to observe the tradition with the idol of a crow. That will fulfill the absence in the ritual," said Gautam Chandra Golcha, who performed the rituals with the idol of the crow.The reason:"Crows are dwindling because they feed on the animals who feed on the crops which are tended with ha…

The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India

This is the title of a book written by Tristram Stuart. It talks about the Indian connection in European vegetarianism.From the observer review:Stuart makes clear that the Western encounter with India provided crucial weight to pro-vegetarian arguments. Here was a civil, peaceful, enlightened society successfully fuelled by vegetables, pulses and grains. Such a diet seemed an escape from the corruption, debauchery, pollution and strife in the West. Many conservative Christians mocked the Hindus' quaint belief in transmigration, but the doctrine of non-violence is a guiding ethical principle that manifests itself through abstention from meat.The story of the reverence and awe in which India was held in certain streams of Western thought is a notable corrective to those who see the history of imperialism as solely the high-handed and brutal imposition of Occidental values on indigenous populations. John Zephaniah Holwell, a survivor of the Black Hole of Calcutta, governor of Bengal …

Join to save South India's Wild Elephants

Action Alert: An Appeal for South India's Wild Elephants- EcoEarth.Info
Number of Asian elephants remaining in the wild range from 35,000 to 50,000.
Number of Asian elephants in India range from 26,000 to 31,000In South India, the continuous elephant range extending from the Brahmagiri Hills, south through the Nilgiri Hills, and east through the Eastern Ghats is one of 14 out of Asia's 59 known elephant ranges containing wild land area large enough to support substantial elephant populations. This 12,000 sq. km area, spanning three states (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala) is thought to house 6,300 elephants, the largest remaining population of Asian elephants in the world.The Nagarhole, Bandipur, Wynaad, and Mudumalai protected areas and the adjacent Nilgiri North Division support a population of 1,800-2,300 elephants.The threats:Habitat loss a major reason for the dwindling of elephant population.Ivory poaching continues with virtual impunity throughout South India.Pressure …

Rare Turtle in the Water Tank of Police Station

Wildlife officials recovered a rare Spotted Turtle from Muchipara police station in north Kolkata. The turtle yellow in color has a pointed head and a motif on its back. "I have seen thousands of turtles in the past years but have never come across one like this," said Premendubikash Chakraborty, a wildlife official said to Times of India.This is not the first time that the police station is floundering with wildlife laws. Turtles were recovered from here earlier. (link)

High voltage electric wire kills three elephants in Orissa

The elephant population in Orissa is under threat. The death of three elephants, one male and two females, only worsens the situation. According to forest officers, the elephants died after coming into contact with high voltage electric wire. Preventive measures adopted by farmers to save their crops also might be a reason for the death of elephants. (details)Whatever be the reason, the pachyderms are finding it difficult to live in the wild.