JUNGLES OF THE WORLD #3: TIGERS OF INDIA
We continue our Indian trek and our tribute to the jungle in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling as we track down our mascot wild cat, the tiger!
Today’s destination is Uttarakhand, an Indian region that shares borders with Tibet and Nepal. Jim Corbett National Park is named after a legendary stalker-turned-conservationist who left behind the man-eating tiger hunts of his youth to devote himself to protecting the natural habitat of wild cats, creating the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and India’s first reserve. The sanctuary and national park together form the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
This haven of ecotourism is home to an impressive 168 of the world’s wild tigers, which prowl an area of more than 1,300 m2. The park is part of the Project Tiger conservation scheme launched in 1972 to protect Bengal tigers. India’s tiger population has plummeted from an estimated 40,000 - 50,000 in 1900 to less than 1,500 in 2007. Recent international mobilization suggests that the tiger is not yet an endangered species – in the face of all the evidence.
If the tigers stay out of sight on your visit, you still have a good chance of spotting elephants, peacocks, flying squirrels… or even a pangolin – don’t mistake this scaly anteater for an armadillo!