One of the most elegant, royal, majestic, glorious animal to ever grace our planet, the Tiger when televised nationally depicted as pitiable, weak, drugged, bound, dangling from a tree , prodded, stoned, beaten by villagers gloating over their acrylic sense of power over this hapless creature, makes for a vision that benumbs you. Incongruous to the tall claims of ‘Save the Tiger’ campaigns zealously advertised , passionately adhered to, one wonders just how legitimate and sincere are efforts on to actually save this dangerously fast dwindling tribe…recent figures though controversial suggest a paltry 1500 approx.
In a bizarre incident which occurred in Bengal the big cat went through a death defying time matching strength with humans perilously close to violently robbing her of life and that of her yet to be born cub. Yes, this was a tigress and a pregnant one at that. Doesnt get any worse does it ?
The tigress had strayed into human habitations in the Sunderbans and had injured three persons in South 24-Parganas district’s Deulbari village. Enraged villagers stoned the animal.
The frightened big cat, which had to swim across two rivers, Matla and Makri, to reach the village, climbed atop a banyan tree.
Forest guards encircled the tree with a net hoping to trap the animal. But the locals set the tree on fire. On seeing the flames, the scared animal jumped on the net, tore it apart and escaped to an abandoned village hut. Later the tigress became unconscious and forest officials captured it. It was put in a cage and bundled onto a waiting launch. The forest guards were also pelted with stones by the villagers. Five of them are injured.
Frankly the above is a watered down version of actualities as televised. The maniacal glee on the faces of villagers as they pelted, prodded the ensnared animal reminded one of ‘Gladiator’ and the days where the cry for blood excited ones senses as none other. Neanderthal instincts abound albeit masked.
One would have inferred sine qua non that in a situation where a national clarion call has been sounded for over a decade to promote measures not just to save the present numbers but dedicated efforts for further breeding (which have thus far failed), actions that even remotely meant peril would have been circumvented at any cost. So is one therefore to conclude that Bengal and the villagers of 24 parganas are not a part of evolved India or are living in the Stone Age , oblivious to the endangered species and therefore abonimably gathered en masse to satisfy animalistic instincts present inherently to a greater degree than the animal they thus chose to denigrate and violate?
Shameful!! And all this when forest officials were present as mute spectators or at best impotent, incapable professionals who due to their lack of planning, foresight and ineptitude wrought misery on this poor creature.
A read through of the present situation on “Save the tiger” is a must in the circumstances to glean the picture better and if I may add fire the angst.
Save the tiger..from humans!!