Author: Kailash Sankhala
Publisher: Natraj Publishers
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8181580281
The tiger, writes Kailash Sankhala, is a creature of hypnotic power and fascination. The more one sees of this beautiful beast the more one is charmed by its gorgeous colour, the vivid pattern of the stripes on its glossy skin, the strength of the muscles and the grace of the tiger’s movements. However, the tiger is very far from just being a beautiful big cat. It is at the apex of nature’s pyramid, a balancing force on all the animals and creatures within its kingdom.
But in what way does the tiger affect the wildlife around him? Is it true that he is far superior to the lion as predator, as parent-even in his power to survive? Are tigers faithful to their mates? Are they territorial? And is the man-killer tag a myth, or is it justified?
These are just a few of the questions that the author answers in a book at once authoritative and compelling to read. For tiger! Is more than a definitive study of an animal, it is also a personal adventure story. >From his early days as a trainee forester, when, encouraged by his tutor, he personally shot and killed a tiger, to his long-lie attempts to make amends for that crime,
Sankhala’s story has, as he says, been that of a tiger addict. There was one tiger-Jim-whom his family even adopted, and who lived in Sankhala’s own home. For five yeas Sankhala served as head of the world-famous zoo at Delhi, where his firmly-held views on what zoos should be initially aroused anger, and later admiration. He had confrontations too with the Indian tourist establishment, and with the poachers who wished to make quick money out of tiger skins. Then in 1972 he was appointed head of Project tiger, a world-wide attempt to save the Indian tiger from extinction: five years later he gave up his job with the problem solved.
Sankhala writes of all these events with great modesty and humour, although his role in them often required both courage and determination. In all, Tiger! is a book not just of a remarkable animal, but the story of a very remarkable man.
The mighty predator
Waiting for the tiger
Tigerland and its inhabitants
The tiger’s prey
Co-predators and camp followers
Myths and man-eaters
Circus or Zoo?
The while tigers of Rewa
Tiger in the house
The skin trade