Learning to live with tigers and leopards in Kanha

Jennie R. B. Miller
Tigers and leopards kill equal numbers of livestock in the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Photo: Jennie Miller
A livestock owner crouches by his goat, killed by a leopard while grazing in the lantana shrubs behind his home. Photo: Jennie Miller
A livestock owner points to a tiger pug mark located near his dead cow. Evidence like this, proof of an attack by a wild carnivore, is required in order for owners to receive financial compensation from the Forest Department. Photo: Ashish Bais
Tiger scratches on a cow’s leg. Because this fatally injured cow returned home, the owner cannot legally receive compensation. Photo: Jennie Miller
The author surveys the remains of a cow killed and eaten by a tiger near the Kanha tourist gate. Photo: Jennie Miller
Although they rarely attack villagers in Kanha, leopards often enter the enclosures adjacent to people’s homes at night to kill livestock. A leopard jumped through the small crevice below the roof of this bamboo enclosure and killed a goat. Photo: Jennie Miller
A female leopard prowls around a fresh goat kill. Mothers with cubs are considered more likely to attack livestock in order to fulfil the high nutrient needs of their young. Photo: Jennie Miller
Financial incentives such as livestock compensation are critical for enabling coexistence between people, livestock and wildlife. This image shows a tiger pug mark framed within cattle dung, a visual symbol that cohabitation is possible. Photo: Jennie Miller
The tiger's large, muscular body enables it to kill cattle and buffaloes, whereas the smaller leopard more commonly attacks goats, pigs and young cattle. Photo: Jennie Miller
Kanha beat guards trace a tiger’s pug marks near a freshly killed bull as evidence for a livestock compensation report. Photo: Jennie Miller
To discourage villagers from poisoning carcasses and retaliating against large cats, the Forest Department burns livestock kills immediately after collecting evidence for compensation. Photo: Jennie Miller
Cows in Kanha are left to graze without a herder for most of the year when crops are not in the field. Photo: Jennie Miller
Sambar grazing in the tiger reserve. Photo: Jennie Miller
A jackal pauses while hunting. Photo: Jennie Miller
A python exposes itself for a rare sighting. Photo: Jennie Miller
A banyan tree at the entrance of the tiger reserve. Photo: Jennie Miller
Peacock dance on a road in the tiger reserve. Photo: Jennie Miller