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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Stop killing the big cat: Randeep Hooda

On International Tiger Day, the actor talks about the urgency that the tiger conservation cause needs

bollywood Updated: Jul 29, 2019 17:51 IST
Sangeeta Yadav
Sangeeta Yadav
Hindustan Times

Randeep Hooda’s social media accounts would tell you a lot about the actor’s passion for wildlife preservation and tiger conservation. Today, on International Tiger Day, he discusses his new-found love — wildlife photography — that’s taking him to various sanctuaries where he encounters interesting stories of the big cat. Excerpts:

How did the wildlife photography bug bite you?

I like to work for animal welfare, and when I got my new camera, I decided to learn wildlife photography from my photographer friend Sarosh Lodhi. It has given me another reason to go more frequently into the jungles, capture beautiful stories of the big cat. Because of this, my friends have also given me a new name — Tarzan (laughs).

Share some stories of the tigers you have clicked...

A tigress called MV3 in Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh), is expecting at the moment. I came to know that she was mating with all the four males in the area, so that all of them think that the cubs are theirs, and they don’t kill them out of competition. That was very clever of her. There is another called Choti Maada, who keeps a close watch on her only surviving cub out of three, the other two were killed by another male tiger.

Which sanctuary do you feel has done great work for wildlife preservation?

Of all the places that I’ve visited, I find Kanha National Park at the forefront of the tiger conservation. It holds a huge population of tigers in our country and all this because of forest officers like
L Krishnamoorthy, (CCF and field director, Kanha Tiger Reserve) and many others that we are charged enough to implement the changes than fight the system. They have made demarcations in the jungle for orphaned and problematic tigers, and successfully rehabilitated people as well.

What about the constant man-animal conflict?

The solution lies in protecting people who are in direct touch with tigers. Educate them, make the tigers more economically profitable to them, and instil a sense of pride in them — they will automatically save the tiger. The problem is people in the area start poisoning the carcasses, putting up snares
so other tigers would be harmed. There should be less acrimony between the various elements — the activist, the elected government, the forest officers and the people, who are in proximity to those
big cats.

Author tweets @sangeeta_yadavv

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First Published: Jul 29, 2019 17:41 IST

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