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Coexistence between Warli Tribes and Leopards

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Source: DTE

 Context: The article discusses the peaceful coexistence between Maharashtra’s Warli tribe and leopards near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

Unlike common fear, Warlis worship leopards as Waghoba, considering them part of their environment. Despite Mumbai having a high leopard density, the Warlis share space with leopards, taking precautions like keeping children indoors after 6 pm. Encounters are common, and the Warlis revere leopards, with shrines dedicated to Waghoba.


Other tribes co-existing with animals are:

TribeAnimal Coexistence Examples
Bishnois (Rajasthan)Bishnois revere blackbucks, protecting them from harm.
Jarawas (Andaman Islands)Jarawas live in harmony with diverse wildlife on the Andaman Islands. They maintain sustainable hunting practices and have minimal impact on the environment.
Van Gujjars (Uttarakhand)Nomadic Van Gujjars coexist with elephants in the Himalayan forests. They follow traditional practices, respecting wildlife habitats and minimizing conflicts.
Mishing Tribe (Assam)Mishing people in Assam coexist with the Gangetic River dolphin. They consider the dolphin sacred and have rituals that promote its conservation.
Kani Tribe (Kerala)Kani tribe in the Western Ghats coexists with elephants and other wildlife.


About Warli Tribe:

The Warli tribe, one of Maharashtra’s largest, resides on the outskirts of Mumbai in the North Sahyadri region. Renowned for their Warli wall paintings dating back to the 10th century AD, the art depicts daily life and surroundings. Utilizing natural materials and colours, the tribe employs bamboo brushes in their distinctive paintings.