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India pleasantly surprises me always. No one is ignorant to the fact that we have 16% of world population living in less than 1% land mass of this planet, and 4% of this 1% is the protected area in India. If the bio-mass pressure of our population was not enough on the shrinking forests of our country, add to that the pressure of cattle grazing. The growing demands of a developing nation do not help the cause either. To say that the Government is not doing enough will not be fair, and even more unfair will be to say that the people of this country are intolerant, not by a distance when it comes to environment. If one travels in the interiors you will still find, rural India worshipping trees, animals, mountains, streams, and practically everything that is in nature. No wonder this is the reason, why despite all adversities, all activists, politicians, NGO’s, courts, etc, India has still managed to hold on to some key species. The so called #TigerExperts had given a apocalypse that Tiger shall not survive to see the turn of the 21st century. Well, the Tiger survives well into 16 years, with a increasingly healthy population. Did these experts underestimate their subjects of study, and overestimate their own expertise? Maybe no, they were perhaps quite right at the time of this prediction, perhaps they did not understand the Newton’s 3rd law of motion. For every forest being disrobed, there are many Krishna’s prohibiting the same. There are poachers and there are protectors. In summary the experts saw only one side and predicted, they did not see the other side, the positive side, the human side. But I would still like to thank them for the prediction, cause that woke up lot of sleeping souls of the society, who did not wait for someone to tell them to rise, awake, and stop not till the goal of protection is reached. I would like to share an incident that I witnessed in #BandhavgarhNational Park in Feb 2016. Do see the image of the same below the text. While doing an evening safari in #Bandhavgarh, from a distance I noticed a forest guard sitting near the #Rajbhera waterhole. On looking closely we see a cheetal (spotted deer) by his side, and the guard feeding him with water and leaves. We waited. When we asked him what happened, he said, while patrolling this morning he noticed the deer, who was old and weak, almost dying next to the water hole. He then fed him with leaves and water. Thereafter, the deer was able to lift his head after a couple of hours. When he came back in the evening to feed the cheetal, he saw more improvement. I was touched by his gesture, no one had told him to do that. We appreciated his work, and what he said after that amazed me, and made me laugh simultaneously. He said, “Sirji hum to tiger ko bhi aise kar dein agar woh karne de”. (we would treat / handle the #tiger similarly if he allows us to). His voice and eyes had genuine concern and love for animals. Whether the deer survived the night by himself or not, whether he became food of some #predator or not, is not important. What is important is, that we do have a lot of sincere people in our forests doing their job very sincerely, silently, away from media and recognition. In my eyes, he did not only save the cheetal, he saved the tiger, and the forest simultaneously. His boss sits about 35kms from #Bandhavgarh, still he was doing something beyond his job, with no expectations, and perhaps hence I could see the smile and peace in his eyes. This is why I say, that there are Krishna’s working silently in many areas. A silent forest ranger at work in Bandhavgarh National Park I have not lost any hope despite a lot of adversity. Nature will regenerate, it is powerful enough to take care of itself, it has done so for eons, and will continue to do so eternally. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
Sharad Kumar Vats posted a topic in Indian wildlifeThis is to inform all that the online safari bookings have commenced for all national parks for safaris starting next month. The bookings have opened much late this year in central Indian parks of Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Pench, Satpura. The permits are few so decide soon if you plan to do safari before end of December 2017. If you are looking at best time for safaris in India then i recommend March-May. Though May gets real hot, about 45 degree celsius during the days but the Tiger sightings improve considerably this month. So, if you can brave the weather then travel in April, May. For a photographer and a wildlife lover every month is good. So choose time convenient to you and plan soon if you wish to travel to India for safaris in next few months.
It is the end of season and as I look back at the hectic 9 months, some of those glorious wildlife moments keep flashing in my head. With more than 150 game drives in Ranthambhore, the focus of the season was on Krishna and cubs. My brief fortnight-long stints in Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Corbett and Sunderbans were rewarding as well. Escorting some of the best photographers in business, it was a great knowledge sharing experience on the field. Though in most of the game drives I wasn’t shooting much since I was escorting and mentoring photographers, I did squeeze in time for some personal drives in Ranthambhore and those were the times my camera was in action the most. Presenting a compilation of my top 14 wildlife moments for 2014-2015. Click here for more details: https://shivangmehtaphotography.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/best-of-2014-2015/
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