Saturday, April 12, 2014

George Washington

Few things in last few days reminded me of one of incident took place in Kisli in 1979. I booked an elephant in the morning for Tiger tracking and found myself sitting on elephant back next to Mr George Washington. Once the Tiger was found and Tiger show was announced we got off the elephant. A small queue of jeeps was formed on first cum first basis. Tiger show was going on smoothly. A jeep came and it was parked out of the queue. Before anyone could ask the driver to park his jeep in queue the driver came to ask the name of Range officer in charge of the Tiger Show.  Next minute he came back asking Ranger that so and so D.F.O. is calling you. 
Ranger was asked to send an elephant out of turn to this jeep so the D.F.O. and his party could see the tiger without wait. Ranger refused. Person sitting in jeep threatened him telling him do you know who am I. I am D.F.O. of such and such place.
Now it was the turn of George Washington to reply. Sir at present I know and recognize only one D.F.O. and that's Sh H.S Panwar. The day I will come under you I will start recognizing you.
That was the discipline maintained in Kanha with full support of it's director Mr H.S.Panwar.
George Washington retired gracefully as Ranger from Kanha Ntl Park. I witnessed this incident with K.P.Tiwari, and Sabir Mahavat. Later on we found out that Mr George Washington was highly respected for dedication to his work by all the senior officers including Mr Peter, that time Principle of Rangers College Koyambtore.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bhagoda

There are so many sightings where tourists were told about Tiger ID as Bhagoda. Most of the pictures of Bhagoda that are sent to us by tourists in last three years turned out to be JOBI male. So people who keep the record of their sighting for them I am putting here a picture of Tiger that was called Bhagoda. This was Durga's male cub, who was very shy and never seen again in Tala zone after 2010 monsoon. This was the Time when B2 was still strong but Shashi / Bamera was also moving as Wanderer and dont forget that Shaki / Bokha was also a dominant male in Durga's territory so survival of a young male tiger in presence of these three strong Tigers was not possible. In those days Shashi / Bamera was fighting with everyone.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Magadhi zone

We went to Magadhi zone today morning. Not much to see but tons of information about Tiger movements. When any area gets higher density of male Tigers then male territory becomes very flexible. It's very difficult to understand their movements. Mukunda and Jobi were not seen much this year by tourists. Mukunda is in Khitauli and Jobi is in Tala Range. Mukunda started his life from a place called Mukunda, where he was born, and now he is in better part of Khitauli. He is being pushed by some male from Damdama. But who is this male is still a mystery for us. 
Blue eye is back and moving in some of the area previously owned by Jobi . Blue Eye was never strong enough to challenge Jobi after that fight in monsoon. So forced Jobi to squeeze his territory? Certainly not Blue Eye. His old wounds on his face and leg are still weeping and the hole in his leg is from abyss. So new young male those are behaving like wanderer are able to push dominant male Tigers here and there. 
That's the reason why Jobi and Mukunda were not seen regularly in their old territories. 
I agree with Boby Nowis that Magadhi is good to show the Tiger to guests but there is no beauty in landscape and wherever it was is destroyed by putting some man made object in a National Park. We forget that we don't have this concept that how a National Park should look?
When we saw a new water hole at Sukhi Patiya we laughed that now we will have the situation of Hindu Pani Musalmaan Pani in the park. (In last century this is how water was distributed to train passengers at the station) Prey and Predator will use separate water hole. A water hole is created just two hundred meters away from the stream.
Some good pictures of plant leaves and flowers. Sal, Shorea robusta is flowering well and so the Tinsa Desmodium oojeinense.
I asked our guide about Tinsa tree. He didn't knew and so the many others but same tree they recognize as Sandan. Which is another name for Tinsa. Kusum leaves are also adding some colours in the forest.


 Have you ever seen Salt Licks hanging any where else in any other National Park in the country. It did provide a good picture anyway.

 If the salt licks are put on the ground then with moisture salt seeps in the mud and even when salt lick is finished the soil of that place absorbs some salt and animal keep on licking the ground. They eat so much soil from that spot that even a small hole gets made in the ground. See the Spotted Deer in this picture. His head is in some hole.
Animals do need salt and if salt is not provided then they look for it. Here in this picture one can see the curve in the stone created by monkeys by literally licking it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wakeeta

We were in Tala zone today. There were hardly any sighting of Tiger in this Premium zone of Bandhavgarh. I asked Driver Vinod Yadav who is coming in the park almost every day. He says there are only three Tigers that are sighted regularly in Tala zone. Bamera once in 7-8 days, then Banbehi nar bachcha once in 4-5 days and Banbehi female herself once in 4-5 days. Apart from this there are one or two sightings per week of Rajbehra or Mirchhani female.  This is very low. So what has happened in Tala zone. Let's see Wakeeta first.  She had a litter of four cubs out of which two died of starvation, one got killed by another male tiger and one cub is missing. Not seen by any tourist or any forest staff in last one month. So presently Wakeeta does not have any cubs with her. People saw her in Bhitri yesterday and today on a kill without cub so we presume she lost her last cub also.
Her three cubs from previous litter should be around three years of age. One male cubs photographs are posted by many Tourists on Tiger Nation and on Facebook but other male cub is not seen by Tourists since Nov. Similarly her female cub is also not seen. She should be raising her cubs some where by now. But where she is is not known so far. In physical presence we see one cub from previous litter age around 3 yrs moving in the park and other male is Vijya's male cub who is around thirty months old now.
Still it is very premature to say that they have left the park area because few roads on which tourism is ban so we don't get a clear picture.But this male cub is not there that's for sure. 
Tulsi is avoiding these young males and that's the reason why she has become so secretive with her new litter.   

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Damdama female aka Hami

One of my friend asked me about Hami's previous litter. Hami lives in Khitauli zone of Bandhavgarh National Park. I think it's better to put it here for everyone's information. In her last litter she had two male cubs. Those two male cubs left her in monsoon 2012 and moved away from her territory. One sub adult cub moved towards Barhi Katni and found dead, electrocuted in a poachers trap, in Feb 2013 in Katni Division about 50 KM away in crow flight from the place where he was born. Other cub is not seen or photographed till date so no news about the area he moved away. Although he is not seen in any other tourist zone. So last litter left her in monsoon 2012 and she got pregnant in Sept Oct 2013. Cubs are born in Dec some time as they are about 3 months old now. 
So now the question is - what made her to conceive so late?
What was the problem? 
We are not a scientists and don't posses that kind of back ground educational knowledge what ever we write is through our observation. I did B.Sc with Mathematics and then a Degree in Hotel management. 
I would like experts and scientists and general readers to put there views here on the blog to discuss this issue.
Do you know none of the scientific material on Tigers discuss this topic in detail.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Online booking system


Last night I attended a meeting with Forest Deptt and other 
Hoteliers on the Tourism policy 
issues related with next year policy. What everyone thought on those points that were read by one of the S.D.O. as most of the points were already decided and people in Bandhavgarh were only called to get informed.
Apart from many other issues the major issue on which big 
Lodge people were emphasizing 
was Add On issue. That is killing them only because they 
just can't cheat anymore. 
I praise Range Officer Tala for saying in meeting that people 
book false entry and then try to
 sale it at higher cost. Someone bought an entry in Rs 6000/ today. I know this is true but
people who came to me for help doesn't have the courage to 
let me mention his name or the name of the person who sold the entry. 
R.O. Tala said that some people are earning their bread and butter through this business of 
black mailing the entry. The other thing he mentioned i the meeting that last year when he got 
360 entries cancelled it was all the big lodges who did it.
After that meeting I was talking to some people who were running the Lodge association here and some lodge owners.
Everyone says that everyone should get a fair chance of booking the entry through legal means.
And on this issue of "how to stop all these Horse trading and black mailing of entry tickets". We agreed that only way to stop this trading is " Once booked can not be cancelled" formula.  
This formula is.
Forest deptt has to stay firm on one point that they dont want more money than what they get from prescribed number of vehicles allowed in the park, as per carrying capacity. Supposedly Deptt allows 16 vehicles in Morning Safari in Tala zone through online booking. And if all 16 are booked then if anyone cancel their trip then he will not get any refund from that ticket and that ticket will not go in current booking either.
People may complain about loosing the money but it's same like booking a Train ticket on Tatkal with Railways. According to forest Deptt. "Add on facility has stopped most of the cheating by big lodges."  
Now we were told that 10% quota will go as per discretion of Field Director.
We are failed to understand that why Forest Deptt wants to have this constant headache. There phone will never stop ringing and at many times they wont have the courage to ask the person to pay for entry money also.
We know this fact very well. I am not sure about one thing whether I like it or not and that's exposing the Superior Officers after their transfer. This habit I saw not only in Forest deptt employees here but even in some Lodge Owners and Managers. They spill the beans a minute after person is relieved from the post. So in my opinion this quota system is very bad idea and lower staff will suffer due to this. 
I am posting it here only to keep it on a record and for concerned people to take notice of the malpractice taking place here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kanha March 2013 with Jane England.

Our visit to Kanha was postponed many times in last two years. Main reason for that was our own commitments to our own business that came up at 11th hour.
This time we clubbed our visit with our friend Jane England. Accommodations are very costly now. Every lodge in the vicinity is trying to make it a luxury lodge and, at most of the time, visitors who are interested in wildlife or who are wild lifers they don't need any luxury. They prefers a basic clean accommodation with tons of information provided by lodge. Now people will ask what is basic accommodation. Basic accommodation is a clean room with comfortable bed, clean Linen and bathroom.
If one can't control the Mosquito problem then a mosquito net should be provided. Although many people can't sleep under Mosi net. I am a very typical tough Hotelier. Providing a mosquito net in the room means Hotel Management completely failed to solve the mosquito problem in the room and they found the easiest solution to put the net on bed. 
In 1991 I was assigned to submit a report on Wildlife Tourism Industry around Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park for Govt of India Tourism Board and Planning Commission. Our suggestion was that these Wilflife areas should be rated as Rural Tourism and no outsider should be allowed to run a lodge not even in partnership. Locals should be trained by Hotel Management Institute to run a Home Stay and none of the person should be allowed to have more than 5 rooms. And of course Govt should provide them a soft loan.
We stayed in Khatiya Hutments with Forest Department. It was nice to see Barmaiyya as a Deputy Ranger. I know him since he started his career in Forest Department. 
We stayed our first night in Khatiya Hutments (I remember them by this name only). My experience there since from the beginning, even when they were mud huts and we use to run them, was always very good. Fantastic place for watching Birds and butterflies in day time and listening calls in the night. On our first night in new block no 5 Kay woke me up in the night and said I think there is some animal out side. I said let me check. 
So when I came close to door to listen to the noise direction I found its from our room only. Then I saw few things missing from the table. Camera strap was hanging in two pieces. Biscuit packet and my lens cap was missing. Now I know the source of that noise. It was from our room only. Just near the door and window a sofa was put and rats made a nice hole in the bottom. When I moved the sofa I found my half chewed lens cap and plenty of plastic wrappers bags where they were making noise and we thought it was some animal on dry leaves. There were more than three huge size rats who escaped through the door gap.
None of us could sleep that night any more. Jane was not happy and so the us seeing these unwanted visitors in our room so we all decided to move that morning itself. 
After game drive we moved to Courtyard House. Nice new place. Needs personal touch to turn it into a Courthouse House. Lots of things needs to change there.
Kanha was as usual. No spectacular picture for me out of those 4 days. What I found in my old stock is that literally I dont need to photograph any animal there until unless I find better than what I already got. And that will be a very difficult task. Difficult to beat.
We had a nice lunch in Mandla with Rakesh and on journey back home Shailesh Dubey hosted the Lunch.