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Feb 8, 2010

Save Our Tigers | Join the Roar

I first saw this campaign, during one of the TV commercials. Didn't pay much heed to it. Then after repeated exposure to this advertising stimulus, it permeated my attention and I began to ponder over it. It said, join the campaign, share it, blog it etc. 

I went back to a time between 2005 and 2006, when a few friends and I went on a trip to Nagarhole national park. Then due to a friend's contact, we obtained permission to stay overnight at an anti-poaching camp, of the Karnataka forest department. It was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life, to stay amidst wilderness with all the gusto and verve of one of Karnataka's thickest forest range. 

The next day we happened to embark on a short trek in the wild jungle, though we did not have the permission to do so. But of course, the overnight banter with the forest guards helped us overcome that, and they themselves walked with us. While we walked for the 6 to 7 kms in the forest, I vividly remember all of us craving to spot one or the other wild beasts. And a few of us also hoped, if we could get lucky to spot the big cat. All these hopes had turned our anticipation higher and drove our adrenalin to unprecedented levels making us talk amongst ourselves amidst the guards warning us against doing so. 

Then suddenly we stopped by on the track that was damped with water from a natural stream. The guard signaled to all of us to fall silent at once with his hyperbolizing actions, and then whispered pointing to the ground asking us "See that"? The look on his face was that of utmost seriousness, and we realized this time he meant business. On the ground was some sort of depressions made on the soil. 

"Pug Marks" shouted one; "Really" exclaimed another and I went busy clicking on my camera. 

"Ivaag taane hogide"(It's crossed just now) said the guard. Before my wondering became a question that could be heard, he continued "maximumu eradu mooru gante aagirbahudu" (must have been a maximum of two or three hours). And that was when we realized how much lucky we were to be travelling amidst the territory of the Tiger. The feeling is inexplicable, the thrill is unbeatable and the memory, just unforgettable!!!

How many of us have been anywhere close to spotting a tiger in its natural habitat? Purists say people spend a lifetime in looking for them. There are people and there are people. Some of them, who spend a lifetime and succeed and then some others who consider, that coming across pug-marks of a tiger in its natural habitat can be the closest they can get in their lives.

I had this amazing picture I had clicked during this trip, that of the pug-marks of a tiger. I so wanted to include it in this post of mine, but turns out I have lost the whole folder somewhere from my system. I also looked for the various DVD back-ups I had made of my data, which seems missing too. This now has left me restless to find that picture somehow and post it here. 

Thinking about it, this is a picture and I can somehow let go. But then think about the number 1411, yes that's exactly how many tigers we are left with.

Shocking to say the least!!! We can't be casual about this... can we? Not when we are answerable to our next generation.


Anusha Narayan said...

I can so relate to your post Sanju..lucky you, atleast you could see the pug marks. The closest i got to seeing the existence of Tigers in their natural habitat were the scratch marks on a tree in Bandipur. What magnificent creatures..i feel so extremely bad even to just give a thought about a world without Tigers. Another classic example of Specism!

Wonderful of you to blog this.

Sanju said...

Thank you Anu. I learnt something new from your comment, "Specism" !

perturbed perceiver said...

really is just too shocking to even think that there are only 1141 tigers left in our whole wide country!
wish we could all do a lot more to save them!
(btw first time visitor..nice blog:))

Sanju said...

@Perturbed perceiver, at this point of time, we can only spread awareness. Hope this doesn't become one of those umpteen beginnings that go waste.

Thanks for stopping by. Btw, would you like to be addressed as perturbed perceiver only.

perturbed perceiver said...

pp wud do :)