Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Billy Arjan Singh: A Tiger's Story

Thanks to the Marginalien, who wrote about Billy Arjan Singh and Tiger Haven on her blog, I've been reading the new edition of Billy's A Tiger's Story (published by India Research Press).
"The fact that I have lived with a tiger for a year and a half, and shared her range for fourteen years has taught me a great deal about the essential tranquility of a tiger's temperament. The various confreres who shared the range with her, were not ravening monsters, not cruel predators, and existed in their individualities, according to the edicts of nature...
...The tiger, who in my childhood days shunned human presence in Balrampur, is compelled to share human habitat during my declining years in Kheri. Having extirpated the swampdeer and the buffalo in the Sunderbands, we have branded the tiger an inveterate man-eater due to shortage of prey species and harsh terrain, when we could supplement prey availability by the reintroduction of the wetland inhabitants.
The human race has proliferated to such an extent that we must eventually take over wildlife habitat. While paying lip service to conservation, we talk sanctimoniously of biomass. We grab habitat to create a surplus biomass, and dishonestly restore the ratio of a sustained yield by culling, until there will remain neither wild animals nor habitat for them to occupy."

There's a very faint glimmer of hope on the tiger front--odd how the discovery of just one animal is enough when every other story has talked of mass slaughter to make us feel optimistic:
"Indian wildlife experts believe they have discovered a new natural habitat of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger in the country's north-eastern region.
Wildlife researchers combing the Trishna reserve forest in Tripura for a bison census recently came across one tigress and two cubs. Tigers have not been seen in this forest since 1976."


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9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:34 PM  

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