Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Searching for tiger in Pench

Pench is a unique destination that has been popularized by Capt.Sleeman and the legendary writer Kipling. Capt Seelman wrote in his book "Rambles and Recollection" about Mowgli the Wolf Child first discovered by Lt. Moor of British Army in Central India. He found the child in the village of Sant Vavadi.

Kipling's account of Seoni Hills in "Jungle Book" is fiction that is based on reality.  The imagination has mesmerized readers all over the World. Actually it was not the book that did it but the film by Walt Disney Production that proselytized millions across the World. The film created love and respect for other life forms by presenting them in a highly loveable manner including Sher Khan. Yes Sher Khan too, the object of our reckless pursuit on tiger safari. The film is in my  view one of the greatest conservation work in history of mankind. Hyperbole not to be misunderstood.

The denizens of the wild still survive but in less numbers, the forest wealth has been diminished by loggers and the down slide continues.  Within the confines of Pench National Park the tigers have learned to thrive well while their brothers outside the protected area are totally at the mercy of humans. 

Tigers are shy animals and very difficult to see in dense thickets. They are by nature nocturnal animals hence active hunting takes place in the night. The tigers love to move in the cold of the night and prefer to lie in the shade whence the sun is high up. They are seen whence forced to move in the day time on paths frequented by humans. Or on the jungle roads inside the park. Thirst and hunger are two major factors which forces the big cat to cross path with humans. Through years of experience their instinctive avoidance of humans has come into picture and when the stress factor is not there it is very very difficult to see these animals. 

For the big cats the alarm cries are the biggest give away and so is there spoor. Some have come to realize that the tourists on jeep is harmless and dare to venture in full daylight in their presence. This has given the benign tourist extreme moments of delight, but at the same time made them realize the importance of nature conservation and respect for all life forms. Not till one sees the tiger does he or she realize the importance of ecosystems and the wonder creation of Mother Earth.  

Tourism does play an important role in creating awareness about nature and our environment. It persuades tourist to value and conserve whatever is left of  natural Earth.  Tiger safaris are vital if we have to keep educating the uninitiated. The tourism infrastructure, the hotels in Pench National Park in MP are foundation of conservation and responsible tourism. The sustenance of locals means greater help in conserving our inheritance.

The conservationists, tourists, wildlife photographers and nature lovers are the sentinel of wilderness. They are the voice that speaks for the tigers and other persecuted life forms.  It is the people who care to visit natural heavens that realize our inhertiance not those who never bother.  For you do not hear a golfer say" Help Save the Tiger".