A few years back, when the Save Tigers campaign was at its peak, I did this –
Nothing big or new I know, but I wanted to contribute to the campaign in some way. Not only tiger, any endangered animal should be protected and that’s common sense. During my visit to Mysore Zoo, I found several species that are in endangered or vulnerable category. Only a very few were listed abundant, which is very sad to note.
Did you know that there is only one live Gorilla in India?! I would have never imagined, if not for a large notice board in the Mysore Zoo and that only Gorilla was very lonely and old too. What could we do to save it now? Nothing. Though the notice boards read out “Save our only Gorilla”, they all failed to enlighten us on how could it be done. Soon this would be the state of many of those endangered and vulnerable animals.
In a vast country like India, one would imagine that there should be no dearth for forests and wildlife too. Are we doing anything to protect these?! Inspite of regular checks and warnings, people continue to use plastics/feed animals even in zoo. In the recent times, I have read about places being recognized as new tourists’ spots turning into plastic dumps. We have this strong connection with plastic which cannot be broken, no matter what measures are taken. We frown as soon as our plastic water bottle is taken away, as its “plastic free zone”, not once feel bad about what we are doing to our environment. Any waterfalls I visited last year, more than the water I could see plastic only. Isnt it going to affect the monkeys living in that area? Oh yes, we chase away those monkeys too. They pose so much threat to you and spoil your tour. Only humans are entitled to live here.
Recently, I happened to watch this Tamil movie Kumki (very late, I know!) and to say I loved it would be an understatement. So, in this movie the villain is an elephant. Attempts would be made to chase it away from the hill villages. One scene stayed with me from the movie – when attempts are being made to chase that wild elephant, the village head says – You people have let big hotels to be built in forests for recreation purposes, then where will the animals go? They are coming into villages to attack us. As true as it can get, this is not unknown. Go to any national reserve, you get an accommodation and wild life safari for steep prices. Is it correct and acceptable? I don’t think so. It might be fun and exciting for you, not for the animal. How would it feel, for every couple of minutes a noisy crowd looks at you and flashes cameras all throughout? Not at all pleasant. The irony of the situation is people are ready to spend a lot to look a tiger in its natural abode but when the same tiger comes to visit them, its scary.
Today, a tiger has been killed. After 18days of struggle, the forest department traced it, surrounded it, shot it until it fell unconscious and no they didn’t stop with that. They had to fire another round to ensure the tiger is dead. In all, 16 rounds of firing happened – against an animal which didn’t have any guns with it, to fire back. The tiger did what it knew to do the best– to hunt. And we did what we knew to do – to kill. How are we different from it? First, we are the ones converting the forests to civilizations. And yet, we find fault with the animal for coming into our territory and then kill it off. Arent we the ones crossing lines here? I fail to understand. I know that the animal has killed off three people, but its an animal – what else can be expected of it?. And no matter what justification be given, killing that tiger is unforgivable. The best plan would have been to catch it and leave it in forest again.
One tiger off our list. Very disturbing it is.