Wild Cats Four Decades Earlier

Wild Cats Four Decades Earlier

by Poochu

Caged in the Zoo.

Caged in the Zoo.

Caged in the Zoo. Zoo inmates Zoo inmate

I was born in a remote village of South India as my Mother hailed from there and as per the custom the expectant mother visited her parents for the child's delivery, while my Father was gainfully employed in a cosmopolitan city in Eastern India.

This village was not electrified then and had to depend on kerosene lamps or oil lamps, with an environment suitable for the Black Panthers and similar wild cats.

Anecdotes relating to the entry of wild cats into our ancestral (maternal) home were often a subject of interest, when we happened to visit later on or listen from my Mother.

These wild cats were often considered "man-eaters" and killed with the help of Gun wielding christian missionaries present in the near by villages.

Now whenever I get a chance to visit there, its depressing, its not what it was like in my childhood ('cause of the modernisation)

Spotting a few snakes and the elusive Cobra apart from the gang of destructive Monkeys, there are no Black Panthers.

I did notice the legend of the black panthers being kept alive, whenever naughty kids refuse to sleep on time.

How many more years to go before Snakes and monkeys follow the fate of the legendary Black Panther?


Wild Cats Four Decades Earlier to Wild Cat Species

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Wild Cats Four Decades Earlier

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Aug 15, 2010 Very sad that Michael is right
by: Leah

Firstly it's so nice to 'hear' you gentlemen chatting however I feel very sad to know that the content of your converstaion is the decline of wild cats.

I fear that Michael is correct that true wild cats will only be in the story books that you read to you grandchildren and that the only way too see them again will be to visit a zoo.

Very very sad.

Aug 15, 2010 I welcome your views.
by: Poochu

Dear Rudolph,
At the outset let me thank you for your informative comments.

I also hope along with you on this 64th Independence Day of our Nation, that we and all like minded people understand the harsh reality that "We are totally dependent on Nature, however politically independent We are".

I must tell you that my Paternal Ancestors had their roots in Karkala before migrating to Bombay in the early 1900's, while my Maternal Ancestors are still around Coondapur.

I recall my pre-teen holidays spent exploring for fossils, cast off snake skins, backwater boat journeys, encountering wild dogs and hair-raising cobra sightings.

True like your observation when I had been to these parts during the monsoon of 2008, no sighting of any large wild mammal other than the ruminating bovines and the common snakes.

My Mother remembers seeing Tigers hiding in the paddy fields(in her childhood), which were subsequently frightened away with the help of other villagers beating on tin-boxes and cornered for its kill.

Tigers generally were branded as "maneaters" unlike the Majestic Lions.

As Michael has rightly pointed out near future sightings of Tigers will be in the "Zoo".

Aug 14, 2010 Wild cats four decades earlier.
by: Rudolph.A.furtado

Mr Poochu , i am also an Indian from Mumbai city with a few blogs about my Persian cats "Matahari" and "Matata" on this site. Your article brought back fond memories of my yearly school and later college holidays in the 1970's to my parents native villages of Barkur and Mabukala in Mangalore.I was then guilty of shooting numerous "pond Herons" and other birds with my airgun, very common in the paddy fields and small forest catchment areas of these small Indian villages during those years.In fact my rudimentary skills of "trekking" and swimming were learnt during these short one month holidays and later encouraged by wiod-life books finally becoming a member of the "Bombay Natural History Society".I finally stopped "Airgun Hunting' in the early 1980's after employment in the "Merchant Navy", although i regularly visited my parents ancestral homes on holidays.The gradual de-gradation of forest land in these villages over the years was a open secret of the gradual erradication of forests and wild-life in India due to an increase in human townships as well as development of more tiny townships in forested regions. i last visited Barkur and Mabukala in 2008 and was totally saddened of seeing entire forest areas developed into housing.Managed to spot a mongoose foraging in my uncles estate in Barkur, the only wild-life i saw, besides the birds.I remember my dad telling me tales of tigers roaring in the distant hills and i myself witnessed otters swimming in the riverside of my maternal Grandfathers estate in Mabukala in 1966-68, a distant past.In 2008 i was at least priviledged to spot a wild mongoose and i fear future generations might find it difficult to spot a large wild mammal in this once semi-forested cultivated villages of South India.I am writing this article on the 64th Independence day of India, sincerely hoping that India reverses its rapidly diminishing forests and wildlife from gradual extinction.

Aug 14, 2010 Sadness for me
by: Michael

100 years ago there were 100,000 tigers now there are about 3,000.

40 years ago you were in the middle of the downward trend and gradual extermination of tigers in the wild.

It almost certain for me that the tigers we see in the future (say in 30 years time) will all be in zoos.

It is interesting to read your thoughts about India 40 years ago. It must have been very different.

Commerce and human population growth outstrips wild animal conservation completely. The former is far more powerful a force than the latter and it is a force that spells the end of wildcats in the wild.

Thanks for sharing again Poochu.

Michael Avatar

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