A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
Random header image... Refresh for more!

On The Search for Tigers


“Just this morning sir, one of our guides spotted a tiger, over there.”  Our driver with an unpronounceable name was pointing towards a rock outcropping in a dried out gully.

We stared at the rocks for what seemed like 15 minutes, as though doing so would bring the tiger back.  But no such luck.  Finally we moved on, four-wheeling along ridge lines, across gullies, through a deciduous forest punctuated with the occasional growth of bamboo.

We were on the search for tigers in the Sariska Tiger Reserve.

After about an hour, I asked our guide: “So how many tigers are there in the sanctuary?”

“Three, sir.”

“Three?”  Hmm, I probably should have asked that question before we added Sariska to the itinerary.  “And how big is the sanctuary?”

“Eight hundred square kilometers, sir.”

I’m no mathematician, but by my rough calculation, three tigers lived in an area that was about 300 square miles.  Talk about your needle in a haystack.

“Why so few tigers?” I asked.

“We are fortunate to have any at all,” our guide said.  “Forty, fifty years ago, there were many tigers here. But poachers.”  He shook his head.  “From 2002 till the summer of 2008, there were no tigers here at all.  Then the government gave us a tiger couple, and already they have a cub.”

He added: “But this is a big sanctuary, and the poachers have not left India.  Who knows how long we will have them.”

[

May 22, 2009   4 Comments

Creative Commons License