Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Real Tigers

In the meantime, The Hindu Magazine does a reality check on the state of the tiger.
The seizure of "wildlife trophies" is being reported from across the country with alarming regularity. On February 1 this year, the Delhi police confiscated 39 leopard skins, two tiger skins, three kilograms of tiger claws and 42 otter skins from a warehouse.

There's also this lesser-known reserve in Maharashtra:
The name "Tadoba" is derived from the Gond King Tharu who ruled over Gondwana, a domain stretching from Telangana to Chattisgarh. His main palace was at the Chanda Fort — now a railway station on the Chennai-New Delhi trunk line. From Chand he would visit his youngest queen at Jamni in the dense Tadoba forests. It was during one such a visit that a tiger killed him.

And what about the lions at Gir?
The Asiatic lion once roamed the forests of Asia Minor, Arabia, Persia and India. It lived in the forests of northern India as far to the east as Bihar and Orissa, with the Narmada river marking the southern limit. By the 1880s, it had become extinct in the rest of India except Gir. The last of the species is still in Gir because it is a compact, unfragmented ecosystem. And, since the time of the Nawab of Junagadh, there have been continuous conservation efforts here. The Nawab was shocked to find that only 12 lions remained in the grassland. In the early 1900s, he declared a ban on lion hunting and ensured their protection.

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