Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
and goes back home happily without thinking about the crockery, cutlery or linen used in the restaurant. That's why Kailash Sankhla wrote in his book that we don't want such tourists who just wants to tick the tiger along with Taj.
Let me come back to photography. Tiger photography has become difficult because of so many reasons. But I want to talk about its cost, why it has gone so costly. Only reason what I see is due to the policies of forest department. I say firmly that Forest department officers have no idea about the cost, and the value of the money one pays to enter the park. In last thirty years I have never seen any retired forest officer of any rank visiting national after paying entry fee. I know some who will not plan their holiday until unless they find some connection who can arrange their free Lodging boarding and vehicle. Still enjoying perks. So if this is the attitude then how one can feel the money pinching.Recently I was in ASSAM. One of my friend called me. we keep in touch on regular basis. That day I said I m in Assam, in Kaziranga. Oh one of my batch mate is there we were together in wildlife training. Find his number I will love to talk to him. So after our game drive I asked driver if he know this person. Yes we will see him on way to the lodge, Driver said. I met this person and simply asked his phone no because my friend------ wants to talk to him. He remembered him after good twenty years, asked about his posting and promotion. In next 5 minutes I take his leave. Next morning I saw him again at entrance gate. He started talking about some retired PCCF of M.P. who is interested in Birds and staying with forest deptt consumed lots of his time unnecessary. That is the perks after retirement. And that is the reason why they never feel money pinching. Everything comes free. I know many cases like this. Do you think system will improve, never. One Field Director of one of the Madhya Pradesh's Tiger Reserve said clearly about allowing people illegally without paying entry fee that we help them in this manner and they help us in return. I asked him is this not corruption and why don't you ask them to help you officially. Never got any reply. So that is the reason why Tiger Photography is costly.
I took this picture on 19th March at about 0744. I was waiting for this Tigress to appear with her cubs since last 30-40 minutes. When she started coming out of the jungle on a perfect spot suddenly a Gypsy appeared in speed and stopped parallel to me throwing a cloud of dust in front of my camera. I lost a very good opportunity of photographing a tiger simply because of some idiot driver. Fores department failed to control them in the park. For speed they believe in putting the speed breakers rather than telling them to behave properly in the jungle. After how many days one gets a chance to see Tigress with her cubs walking towards you in such a calm manner. My client was furious.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
P13 is being sent to Panna and so another tigress from Kanha. People opposed this move in Kanha but nothing happened in Bandhavgarh. Probably that was the reason for park officials to go for Puja at Siddhbaba that evening. I did hear some murmuring about protest. Someone asked me to join. I knew what they wanted but they never appeared on time.
We are happy that she has gone to find a better place for herself in Panna. Here she was living in a very poor territory. Bhitri was her main base. If she climbs southern hill she lands at Sitamandap, territory of Reshma. And if she climbs western hill she meets territory of Lakshmi and Pyari, two very dominant females. Her other sister P12 living in Bamera has produced her first litter. P13 never got pregnant here. May be due to stress of living in such a small sandwiched territory. Two males use to visit her territory and third one occasionally met her on road but never been together. Tala range of Bandhavgarh has a very high density of Tigers. At present there are 7 breeding females with 18 cubs of different age group, two dominant male and one transit male so total 28 Tigers in an area of only 105 sq km. Do they have sufficiently prey base for their survival?? No one knows the right answer.
Our major worry is will these Tiger survive in Panna?? Some journalist wrote that they (Forest deptt officers) cover up each others sin. If that is the case, which looks very true as no enquiry is being conducted so far for missing Panna tigers, then there is no hope for these tigers in Panna. He, journalist, says the enquiry will cover up their sins properly.
After her departure from here Reshma, Lakshmi and Pyari should feel more relaxed. They will share her territory. Lakshmi will get the smallest share in it and Reshma will benefit the most.
Anyway she is gone. We hope she will have a better life there.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Kay saw Durga walking on road towards them. that was really good sighting. Chris got some nice photos.
Denise arrived yesterday and they already saw B2 in their first game drive.
Next few days will be very busy and I dont think I will have enough time to write blogg.
on our journey back home Me Chris and Tony wanted to try Guwahati Dump again. It is nice filthy place for storks.
After dinner we board Howrah Mumbai mail for Katni.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Kanha is a funny place. Locals can damage the park on their whims and fancies. I have seen Kanha burning and no one ever found any person responsible for fire. Anyway---
Back to Bandhavgarh- There were many signs of Tiger walking on road but we did not see one. Our best chance we found on Tiger show. P10 was sleeping in Chorbehra and Lakshmi was sleeping on a hillock 100 mtrs away from him. Some nice photos. That's the beauty of 300 mm lens. I uses it all the time. In fact that is the only lens I carry in the jungle. Most of the Time when others were photographing I was quietly holding my camera then Mahavat slightly turned the elephant and I got the chance.
Afternoon was even better for sighting but no photography. Light was very poor and pictures are not as sharp as I wanted. Xavier and his wife and Kay are very happy with the sighting. It was Durga and her two cubs at Badhaini pool.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tiger Trans location from Kanha and Pench are in pipe line. When it will be done not sure but I am sure that they will try to do it. Taj staff told me about rumours are that everyone is thinking that this programme is sponsored / helped by Taj CCAfrica. This is not true.
We did not see any Tiger today. Very disappointing day. Xavier is very anxcious to see his first Wild Tiger. Looks like he has to wait till tomorrow.
Blue Mormon sighted only second time in all these many years in the jungle.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Look at the picture carefully. This firewood has come from dead trees in nearby forest. See the age of people who are selling it. Do you think they are needy people. No they are opportunist-lazy village sods who opted easiest way of self employment.
Here lies the main problem of this country and its Tigers. None of the concerned department has any interest in controlling this. We tried our level best and failed many times successfully.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I travelled through Agra, Mainpuri, Etah, Etawah, and Karhal. These are the places to see Sarus Crane. I saw loads of them sitting, standing, feeding and preening next to farmers in their farm land. At one place one boy claims that one bird comes to feed off his hand. I did not see it but I accepted his claim.
At many places i miss my camera. Taanga or Horse Cart is one complete subject for book. First time I saw a lady Taanga women in Mainpuri. But all these cities are dirty and dirty. Agra has quality to top the list. People who can afford drink bottle water in Agra. If you are there be careful with food and Salad.
Just come today to hear that a tigress is going to be translocated from here to Panna on 4th morning or 3rd evening.
Let us see what happens.