We all love our rich heritage and architecture of Rajasthan but this post is about our national Animal, the tiger. This is about an appeal to save our Tigers!
We all sit and praise how beautiful creation the tiger is. But we probably do not realize that for our future generations it will be difficult to distinguish between a tiger and a dinosaur. Both of them will appear in the same page of our history books unless we rewrite history by taking things in our own hands. Majority of the world tiger population resides in India and so we are their only hope of survival. It is alarming that the total number of tiger in the wild put together from all over the world is short of 2000 and that too fast decreasing. No wonder the tourists return back from national parks with long faces and frustrations.
Rajasthan has a tiger sanctuary known as Ranthambore national park in a beautiful setup in the mountains and about 4 hours drive from Jaipur. Ranthambore was in the news recently for the much-hyped event of British Comedian Russell Brand and American Pop sensation Katy Perry's wedding. Celebrities including Jonathan Ross, David Williams and Rihanna had reportedly been there. That event took place just 3 days before we made our trip and we were told that they too returned back with the tiger being elusive to the celebrities.
We all gathered outside the park late in the afternoon on our top open canter and it was very exciting experience for all of us. We have never entered a forest on a open top vehicle before and none of us have ever seen a Tiger in the wild before. I had only seen a Rhino from a far distance riding an elephant but that was a long time ago. We were hopeful like everyone else but a bit skeptical too. It started well with the sighting of a few Sāmbhar deer and spotted deer.
Once deep inside the forest our guide got news from a passing vehicle that warning shouts of other animals were heard, indicating that a tiger was around. And then the wait started. It was testing our patience. Anticipation and frustration was coming and going like a sin curve, reaching a new peak every time. The driver and the guide were at their wit’s end deciding whether to wait in this place or go back to the earlier one or move deeper inside. As a result we ended up going backwards and forwards with no results. And so were many others!
Suddenly we found ourselves all alone and the guide took an instant decision to call off the wait rush back towards the stream. The driver floored the pedal and I switched on my camera... and as they say rest is history!
Let’s join our hands to save our tiger. They not only bring joy to us but also support the family of thousands whose livelihood depends on wildlife tourism. Let us stop them from ending up being part of bottled Chinese medicines or a wall hang in some wealthy household!We were lucky on this occasion, but lets try and make it happen for all!