United for Ustaad

Published on May 27, 2015 00:54:54 AM

The planet desperately needs more such animal lovers, who are indeed a dwindling tribe

The rare show of unity and empathy demonstrated for a wild cat by animal rights activists and supporters in Hyderabad speaks volumes of their concern for the environment. The planet desperately needs more such animal lovers, who are indeed a dwindling tribe.

The candle light rally taken out by them at Indira Park displaying the photographs of Ustaad, the victim, caught the attention of one and all and it marked the beginning of a country-wide protest called for by the wild life photographers against what they all called ‘unfair treatment meted out to the animal’. Falsely branded a man-eater and victimized without any proper inquiry, the tiger had become the target of the hotelier lobby that had been cashing in on the tourist rush in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan.

The influential lot behind the hotel industry had reportedly wanted the wild tigers, especially those could be a threat to the visitors, removed from the park. Ustaad was accused of mauling a forest guard, Ramphal Saini to death near the entrance of the Ranthambore park on May 8. The tiger was clandestinely removed from the national Park as desired allegedly by the hotelier lot and placed under captivity in a small enclosure at Sajjangarh somewhere near in Udaipur, thus depriving it of its natural habitat.

It jeopardized Ustaad’s two cubs still left in the park. Another male tiger on the prowl in the same domain could even kill them to establish its hegemony. The animal lovers of Hyderabad up in arms against the wild life officials were first to take to streets in solidarity with the accused wild cat. They claimed that the officials did not follow any procedure or protocol before shifting the animal. They wanted the Centre to order probe into the tiger episode besides investigating the role of the hoteliers and act against the guilty to keep the footfall of tourists intact.