Tiger Watching, Kaziranga

by Leio De Souza
Leio De Souza

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Once upon a time Kaziranga was the most well protected park in India and tourism too used to be disciplined. If this picture is any indication, it appears that things have really gone downhill.

This image was photographed in Kaziranga’s central range on March 31st, 2013.

The tiger was in the grass close to the watchtower, and tourists, including my groups, had congregated in the tower to wait and watch. As the tiger began walking back towards the road there was a crazy rush back down to the track – some groups got into their jeeps and drove up to the tiger, others ran along the track from the tower.

From the watchtower my groups (from the UK & USA) witnessed this shocking and absolutely irresponsible spectacle of guards, drivers and tourists all running about on the track taking photographs, shouting, no more than 15 metres from the tiger.

I have witnessed similar behaviour elsewhere in India but was somewhat surprised to see this happening at Kaziranga. My groups were furious, and although this was the first tiger sighting for many, the experience was marred by this ridiculous and downright dangerous behaviour.

I hope this report would reach the authorities and they can take steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

About the author

Leio De Souza
The author is a Goa-based naturalist.


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