Thursday, October 24, 2013

A tiger died!

It is said that "Nero Fiddled While Rome Burnt". That is what, precisely, is happening with our tigers and wild animals. The whole focus is on the tourism which is there since ages with no visible negative impact on wilderness. The ministry and management spend more time on nuances of tiger safari rules and regulations than the patrolling and security of the park and its magical wildlife.

A tiger died in the corridors of Kanha National Park. It is suspected that the tiger was poisoned. The big cat roamed between the sanctuary of the tiger reserve and the periphery of villages. The question of poaching cannot be ruled out. As in case of Panna and Sariska danger looms large on this tiger reserve. The nexus between some forest staff and organized mafia cannot be ruled out. Hence extra vigil is always on the cards. 

The male tiger was in its prime and was often sighted by the tourists on tiger safari in Kanha National Park. Two spotted deer and a panther have also been found dead. How the endangered animals died will take lot of time to know.  The viscera will go to many departments for the postmortem to be completed.

Getting to the root cause of the death of rare animals is a tardy process with clinical and analytic facilities available at few places.

Tiger - Teerath Singh
Now a tiger less will make a difference since there a few left in India. The census at Kanha Tiger Reserve will take place in January 2014. If conducted properly we will get an idea of tiger numbers in the park. The participants include volunteers. The registration form can be had from the Field Director Office in Mandla City in MP.       

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Joy And Despair

Come October and all the tiger reserves in MP are abuzz with activities. In Central Indian Reserves the tiger safari starts from 16th of October every year. The tiger safari  in the beginning of the season is a new experience.  

This is the toughest season for tiger watching in India. Fresh from monsoon torrents the vegetation is rich and the canopy dense. There is water available everywhere besides plenty of prey spread all around. This is the least stressing time for the Bengal tigers in the country. With no need to make a forced move the big cat sighting is scarce. Many tourists go back disappointed since on many game rounds the tiger is not seem. 

The sightings in MP are further limited by division of tourism area, timings and limited route. Unlike earlier whence you could move around with will you cannot do so now. The jeep has to move in a particular direction and within the area specified. Well this is in order to cause less disturbance to the animals but I believe the regulations could be relaxed a bit since the vehicle numbers have already been limited. 

On recent tiger safari at Kanha we were hampered by these factors and my guests could not see the big cat. Most of the tigers start to move at dusk which is the time for the jeeps to exit the park. The morning safari pays much more dividend due to reasonable time. After couple of failed game drives we came across pug marks of tigress at Sal Ghat Hill. The tigress was moving downhill and we stopped at the point where we deduced that she would move across the fireline. 

The shrill alarm cries of the bison herd ascertained the presence of the tigress. Assured that we have made the right decision we waited. Then with the increase in alarm cries we could sense the movement. The tigress came close to us but remained hidden in the canopy. 

By now we could hear her soft roars close to us. I cherish these moments when I hear the roar of the tigers. The sound can best be described as ethereal. This was exciting and unnerving as we waited with baited breadth for her to come out. The excitement ran large on the face of my guest a lady from UK. But the hope and excitement turned into despair whence the tigress did not emerge and went further downhill.         

"So close yet so far!" I whispered to my guest who was visibly disappointed. "Well we had a close encounter," I tried to pacify her. "Quiet an experience," I tried to get the point home. But it was not to be for see wanted to see one. She had come from far just to see the tiger and I could not fulfill her wish. The consecutive drives where devoid of tiger sightings but we came across many wild animals that are as exciting to watch. The two guests who joined us from UK had already seen the tiger so birds and mammals enthralled them. 
Courtyard House Kanha
But yeah dil mange more..that's
the story of the tiger!