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Paper tigers abound in Sunderbans

Author(s): J Basu
Issue Date: Feb 15, 2010
West bengal’s forest department officials claim the mangrove forests of the Sunderbans has about 250 royal Bengal tigers. But analysis by the Indian Statistical Institute and a count carried out by the government-run Wildlife Institute Of India (wii) indicate the state forest department figures are inflated.

Devices of fun and comfort

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2010
WILDLIFE tourism’s underbelly was exposed in Bandhavgarh National Park last month when a vehicle with tourists craving for a nocturnal sighting of the tiger hit the animal. The influential tourists had managed to stay in the park after it closed.

Death of a Tigress

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2010
MAY 19: Bandhavgarh National Park, Umaria district, Madhya Pradesh 5.30 AM: Safaris enter park 5.55-6.15 AM: A tourist guide spots a tigress by a reservoir. The tigress, Jhurjuria, lives with her three cubs in the Tala Range in the park.

1,411 tigers, and unanswered questions

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2010
1411 tigers left. So says the latest advertisement campaign of a new telecom company and the wwf. It is powerful. It plays to our emotions. But it does not tell us what is being done, or should be done. It does not tell us how we, the consuming classes, can be part of the solution to safeguard the tiger.

Tigers Terai

12.A signboard on our way out of Corbett; after paying “Rs 250 per head“ and not spotting a single stripe, this is not what I want to read Report by : Ravleen Kaur Photograph by: Meeta Ahlawat

Tigers Terai

Inside Corbett at seven in the morning, we stood on tip-toes, strained every muscle in our body to spot the elusive creature but alas… Five lakh tourists visit the park every year. The forest facilities suffice for only 200 visitors, the rest are serviced by the 40 odd private resorts which line the state highway in Dhilkuli, right outside the park boundary Report by : Ravleen Kaur Photograph by: Meeta Ahlawat

Tigers Terai

The forest guard hardly fires the gun slung on his shoulder. Procurement of arms and equipment is still an issue with the forest department. A forest official confessed that the consignment of 100 cartridges, he had received from Lucknow would translate to 3 to 4 cartridges per guard which on field amounts to nothing Report by : Ravleen Kaur Photograph by: Meeta Ahlawat

Tigers Terai

“I have got more than 50 tigers killed in my life”, claims the 80-year-old Prem Bhallabh Chamwal. A former assistant to British shikaris including Jim Corbett, he adds,“ We would track the tiger, tie the bait, set the trap and do almost everything except pull the trigger”. The initial ideas of protected reserves and conservation were fostered from a need to provide for the hunting pleasures of the domestic royalty and the British Report by : Ravleen Kaur Photograph by: Meeta Ahlawat

Tigers Terai

Crouching people and hidden tigers...Radhe Shyam Gangwal explains how his neighbour, a basket weaver was attacked by the fugitive tiger while he was collecting hay for the baskets. This spurred an army of wildlife experts, forest officials and NGOs to rush here. “ I have never seen so many people in the village”, says this 70-year-old resident of Saidpur, “now, the village feels empty”. Report by : Ravleen Kaur Photograph by: Meeta Ahlawat

Tigers Terai

If you were to do a story on the tiger and failed to spot a single specimen during the trip…this is probably how your desk would look like. A rusty old typewriter, crumpled mess of paper and a framed picture of the beast for inspiration Report by : Ravleen Kaur Photograph by: Meeta Ahlawat
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