LET'S STOP THIS TIGER SHOW

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THE UGLY TRUTH BEHIND THIS PRETTY PICTURE

Please read the SAD truth behind this stunning picture. 

This is a lovely tigress named Kajri. Daughter of the famous Spotty in Bandhavgarh. It was a hot summer afternoon and we were patiently waiting for a tiger sighting, when we suddenly heard loud calls of a barking deer. The thrill of that echoing call is what I keep going back to the forest for. It is what makes Tiger tracking such an art and an absolute adrenalin rush. I don't just go for photography, nor with any guarantees of sightings. Just hope and love for the forest and what it might show me!

However, it was 4:30 pm and still quite hot for the Tiger to move around. The calls faded as the barking deer carried on. We concluded that the Tiger was sitting in the water behind the bushes. So we decided to wait for it to cool down a little. Big cats are more likely to walk late evenings.

Then a mahout on the elephant appeared. They are supposed to patrol the forest  and ensure the well being of the tigers and also the forest. He surveyed the 10 odd jeeps  that were waiting. This seemed like a signal for the mahout who started charging the elephant towards where the tigress was relaxing. We were a little unsure of what he was planning. Next thing we know, the tigress is being forcibly shepherded/chased onto to the road for tourists to see. The elephant scooped the tigress out of her preferred spot, much against her will.

She looked distressed and snarled repeatedly at the mahout, while the entire lot of jeeps rejoiced and took pics, including ours. This pretty pic was taken during this ruckus by one of the Jeep members. I could not help but wonder how one could be proud of a tiger sighting/photograph like that? It was a CIRCUS! I couldn't bear to look at the tigress who was reduced from a fearless beast to a helpless cat. 

To complete this organized RACKET, we saw the mahout collect a tip from all the jeeps one by one. This collusion was shocking to watch, even though am told it's an age old practice in the most famous Tiger reserve in the country. But I ask, how does that make it less shocking?? Also we were shocked to find that  another tigress Spotty (kajri's mother) was also subjected to even worse treatment by the mahout+elephant.

As nature lovers, we must REJECT and object to such photo opportunities and discourage the blatant infiltration of space of wild animals. We are in their land. And to be honest, Bandhavgarh has great natural sightings. There is no need for this malpractice. It is pure greed that is driving this, nothing else.

Ironically, Madhya Pradesh also has some of the most disciplined parks- Kanha and Pench. The management there is top notch and they truly respect the animals.

So let us all speak up against such pressure that photography  puts on our guides and drivers. They are all good people at heart. But are a victim of social media pressure from us tourists.

 I for one would rather go without a tiger sighting, than see one in this fashion. Safaris are a matter of chance and luck. We must accept that.

Please support and share this petition to stop this being repeated.