The title is taken from a poem by William Blake. Ironically, the situation that the Tigers face in India today is far from bright. These majestic beasts are usually said to be powerful and magnificent. The panthera tigris is the National Animal of India.
I was on 10 day trip to Bangalore - Mysore. I decided to visit Nagarhole National Park. It is said to have a decent tiger population along with the Bandipur and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries. We got to Nagarhole at around 9 in the morning. We were told that we would not get to see too many of the animals, since most of them were moved to Bandipur. So we decided to look around the place in our Maruti 800 itself. Obviously, we had to stick to the road only ;) .
Meanwhile, we met a forest officer who was pretty passionate about Project Tiger. He explained to us how the tiger population in India had dwindled from 3400 to around 1400 in the last 6 years. A sad state for the majestic beast indeed. Tigers are very territorial animals and are said to control over 20-30 square kilometres of land. Although poaching is still rampant in many parts of the country, coupled with mismanagement and badly trained patrols, I think Project Tiger which was started by Indira Gandhi way back in 1972 is now going to have some new zeal as more and more people are becoming passionate and vociferous about this cause. Afterall it would be a bloody pity if my children or grandchildren could see the Tiger only in documentaries.
In the Budget session, I was quite happy to notice that P.Chidambaram has actually allotted Rs.50 crore to the National Tiger Conservation Scheme. A Tiger Protection Force is also going to be setup. I believe that this world is big enough for all species of animals and pray that the tigers move away from being dangerously close to exctinction and it is upto people to help it survive and repopulate. Stop Buying anything that has anything to do with wild animals. When the buying stops, slowly the killing will too.