Meet ‘Bhoorsingh the Barasingha’: Kanha tiger reserve becomes first in India get official mascot
Barasingha, or swamp deer, is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh. The Kanha tiger reserve, spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts, is the only place in the world where the species exists.
Kanha has become the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot — Bhoorsingh the Barasingha — to present the hard ground swamp deer as the spirit of the reserve and spread awareness to save it from possible extinction. Barasingha, or swamp deer, is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh. The Kanha tiger reserve, spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts, is the only place in the world where the species exists.
According to the reserve’s field director Sanjay Shukla, Kanha hopes to create a better connect with its visitors, especially the younger generation, with the introduction of the mascot.“We wanted to create a unique identity for Kanha, which not only makes it look distinct but also helps spread awareness and allows the younger generation to connect with all wildlife,” he said.
Shukla said he came up with the idea when he met Nagpur’s award-winning cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty, who makes cartoons and illustrations on wildlife.
“Chakravarty has a knack of mixing humour with wildlife to create cartoons and illustrations that become popular. He also runs a popular website — www.greenhumour.com — which showcases over 350 cartoons, comics and illustrations on wild animals, wildlife and nature conservation, environment, sustainability and all things green. So, I asked him and he came up with four designs for the official mascot”.
Speaking to HT on phone, the cartoonist said he had visited Kanha in connection with another project in February. “When I met Shukla, he was full of creative ideas about creating awareness about Kanha. During our conversations, we finally chose the Barasingha, an endemic variety of deer, as the park’s mascot. ‘Bhoor’ means tawny/golden and ‘Singh’ means antlers,” he said.
Chakravarty added, “Instead of the tiger , which ought to have been the usual choice, we decided it should be Barasingha, the uniqueness of Kanha. Finally, I designed four variations of the mascot, one of which was chosen by the MP forest department.” The cartoonist said Bhoorsingh will soon feature in more artwork, posters and merchandise for the park management at Kanha.