Season 1, CHATROOM 10

Encounters with India’s Maneaters

We are increasingly sharing space with predators and wild animals, with deadly consequences… for the animals, that is… not so much the humans.. or, at least that was the case until the pandemic.. Covid-19 is the result of a breaching of ecological boundaries. In this episode, we learn how to co-exist with other species from Nayanika Mathur, an anthropologist at Oxford University.

Time Markers (mins: sec)

  • 00:04 — Leopard attack
  • 02:00 — Human-animal conflict has become the norm
  • 3:45 — Introducing Nayanika Mathur
  • 4:08 — Nayanika collects big cat stories
  • 4:57 — stories from unknown voices are powerful
  • 5:54 – Story of a leopard watching a woman named Vimla
  • 7:50 — Why didn’t the leopard hurt Vimla?
  • 8:15 — animals have memory
  • 9:29 — science shows animals have memory
  • 11:45 — story of the man with one arm
  • 13:40 — how can we live more in balance with nature?

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Reading List

Paper Tiger: Law, Bureaucracy and the Developmental State in Himalayan India. Mathur, Nayanika. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 204 pp.

Telling the story of the pandemic. (2020, May 11). Somatosphere.

Mathur, N. ‘Nature is healing’: Why we need to be careful about how we tell the story of the pandemic. Retrieved January 20, 2021, from