Reminiscences of Indian Wildlife – R.S Dharmakumarsinhji

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The leopard, the most beautiful of the Great Cats, today faces extinction in many countries. In this book, celebrated Indian wildlife expert Arjan Singh attempts an extraordinary experiment: to rear a leopard cub at his home in northern Uttar Pradesh, where the local leopard population has dwindled to almost nothing, and return it to the jungle. In this touching and exciting account of his time with the leopards, Arjan Singh teaches
first Prince and then the twins Juliette and Harriet the ways of the forest. Sharing his whole life with them, building them machans (tree
platforms), walking the jungle tracks in their company, encouraging them to hunt, teaching them to disembowel their kills, he discovers the habits and character of the leopard as no person has before. His first great success occurs when Prince at last reverts to the jungle,
fully rehabilitated. There are some setbacks along the way. Prince and Harriet each kill one
human child, and the author’s local critics are vociferous in their opposition. Yet Arjan Singh is supported by Mrs Indira Gandhi, the
then Prime Minister of India. Not only does the author succeed in returning a hand-reared predator to the forest, he also refutes the theory that leopards are treacherous and
| unpredictable. On the contrary, he demonstrates the ‘essential tranquillity of the leopard’s temperament, and shows that it is only the
animal’s intelligence, combined with its capacity for effective
retaliation when cornered which has given it a bad name. ‘Billy’ Arjan Singh is one of India’s most active conservationists. In
1976 he was awarded the World Wildlife Fund’s Gold Medal for his conservation work . He has played a leading role in the creation of the Dudhwa National Park, a forest sanctuary near the Nepalese border.
Reminiscences of Indian Wildlife – R.S Dharmakumarsinhji

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