Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Moving to WordPress

Tigerwalah  is now moving to WordPress blog . Entire content(posts & pages) on this blog has been updated on the new blog. Please click on link Tigerwalah to access the new blog directly. Thank you for your continued support & encouragement, see you at WordPress.
Would love to have feedback / suggestions from all of you on the new blog, do write to me-anurag@tigerwalah.com. Thanks.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sariska Reports one more cub

Yesterday Morning camera trap pictures revealed presence of one more cub of ST2 tigress at Sariska. With this sighting, the total count of cubs at Sariska has increased to two. These are first cubs born in Sariska after complete wipe out of tigers in 2005.Tigers were reintroduced in Sariska in 2008 & since then three males & three females have been relocated. Out of these one male tiger, ST1 was poisoned by villagers. Sariska now has seven tigers-two males, three females & two cubs.
Wildlife week surely could not have had a better start than this.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reason v/s Religion

Not so long ago, I along with bunch of like minded wildlife enthusiasts were trying to reason out 'ban on tourism in tiger reserves as cure to all evils' sentiment flouted by gang of so called activists. While nobody denied the fact that the industry had scope for improvement & no one supports 'rowdy tourism' but it would be completely unfair to stop tourism because the authorities could not do  much to control the real devils, tourism being an easy scapegoat. Amongst the many argument flouted a popular one was 'why did the industry not self regulate itself??' sounded funny to me at least. Not sure if we have anything called self regulation in this country. Here everything right from doing homework to re auction of 3G happens only because there is someone hounding on backside. Even friends from media talked about self regulation, not sure why the same did not apply while our broadcasters were doing 'exclusive' live coverage of 26/11, providing info to terrorists about activities of security forces....TRP does matters.
While all tourists were ridiculed & tagged as 'rowdy' we ultimately moved out of the debate as prejudices are strong to reason out. Now all of us wait patiently for the next court hearing...hoping wisdom prevails & the parks reopen.
people on water bodies: animals would never drink water
While the ban on tourism continues, it is silent on religious tourism deep inside the core areas. Most of tiger reserves have a religious place inside tiger reserves & the entry for religious purposes is virtually without any restrictions. All u need is a pollution certificate on your vehicle & the forest becomes picnic spot, play loud music, bath in water bodies meant for animals, go off road in forest, pluck fruits, feed animals or harass them, leave leftover food & plastic waste unattended...the list is endless.
Does this not put pressure on forests?
Few days back Ranthambhore witnessed 'Ganesh Mela'. In a week's time record 1 million people visited the famous Ganesh temple deep inside the core area, walking through 6km of forest area which also happens to be territory of 5 active tigers including 2 females with cubs.This count of pilgrims is way more that total count of tourists who would have visited Ranthambhore in past 10 years or so.
While the administration did whatever it could, ban on entry vehicles beyond Sherpur check post, putting up dustbins all through parikrama route, additional cleaning charge levied on en route Bhandaara's  who anyways do not bother to clean the mess left behind, putting up notices warning  presence of predators & urging people not to go off track etc but nothing supersedes religion...people still did what they wanted. High decibel music played, water bodies meant for animals used as swimming pools etc. etc.
pilgrim entering forests by breaching cordon
The result is a mess of left over food, plastic waste thrown casually all over, forest on both sides of road stinking with unbearable stench as they served as public toilets. Now the poor district administration, park officials, lodge owners, drivers & guides are left with the responsibility of cleaning this.
Interestingly the same activist gang is absolutely silent about all this & have not bothered to raise a single word. Is it because religion does prevail supreme in this country ??? or for them the evil starts and stops at tourism?? would these pilgrims not disturb tigers & wildlife???

I am appalled by the step child treatment towards law abiding tourists, who love nature, wildlife and tigers. We do spend a fortune of our savings visiting parks & yes it helps the local economy & the cause of Tiger conservation around protected areas. Would be glad to take anyone around the prove my point, in case you disagree. This blog post is nothing but grievances of a humble 'rowdy' tourist.
Disclaimer: I am not an atheist, a Brahmin by birth & Indian by nature i do visit all places of worship. I do visit the Ganesh temple once in each Ranthambhore trip. I do not seek a ban on religious tourism, Ranthambhore probably is safe due to blessings of Lord Ganesha & thankfully no untowards incident happened during mela.