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Death on Track

“An enormous body, two overgrown teeth, and an upper lip, which joins the nose to form a trunk – these are the evolutionary tools, which the world’s largest land animals have used to survive for millions of years. Today, the elephants are dying. By fragmenting their habitats and killing off the best of their breeding stock for ivory, we have effectively destroyed the species’ chances for future…

Carbon Neutral Squirrels; Negligent Policy Makers

October 2007: It’s a rodent, the smallest of the Indian giant squirrels and next to impossible to sight – largely because it spends most of its life up in the canopy of thick forests, far from human eyes. Also because it is very rare, and getting rarer.

Hook, Line And Sinker

August 2007: Ancient Indians worshipped nature. By contrast, ‘modern’ Indians were indoctrinated by the British belief that nature was an impediment to progress and that wild places had to be subdued using clinical violence.

Stern Warning

June 2007: The year is 2050. Or is it 2030?


You can wade across the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers whose glaciers have virtually vanished. The plains of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, and the Assam valley have turned into toxic dust bowls. Farmers’ wells are dry and their soils are drier still.

Of Course, India Pays

April 2007: "We know how to deal with people like you.”


This not-so-veiled threat was issued by antler horn traders in Maharashtra who accused me of being an ‘extremist’ because I was fighting for a ban on deer-antler exports. “We only use antlers that deer drop naturally once a year,” they spat angrily.

The Art Of Living

February 2007: What perfectly well brought up young tigers!


From the time they were able to follow their mother through their forest universe, they learned from heart-thumping observations, imitation and unambiguous instruction how to hunt, how to hide, what to eat, and what not to. The tigers are sub-adults, the gaur fully grown.

Eat Or Be Eaten

December 2006: The ultimate rule of the sea is stark: “eat or be eaten.”


Sharks, orcas, saltwater crocodiles, leopard seals and moray eels are among the most recognisable ocean predators. Morays like this one haunt the shallows of tropical and subtropical seas, living lonesome lives in rock or coral crannies until hunger drives…

As Times Goes By...

October 2006: The fundamental things apply

                          As time goes by


Dooley Wilson, in the song made famous by the film, Casablanca


When I started Sanctuary 25 years ago, India…

It's Crunch Time

August 2006: Evolution never gifted us the ability to see, hear, smell, touch and taste for our pleasure. The single, overriding objective was to arm us with survival tools.


Every species studies, adapts and uses the evolutionary toolbox to take mundane (should I eat that fruit?) and not-so-mundane (should I run and hide, or throw a…

To Save The Tiger, Save The Tree

June 2006: He has launched a thousand poems. Inspired timeless art. Stirred millions of hearts down the ages.  And thus far survived brutal assaults by otherwise sane humans who foolishly believe that spilled tiger-blood might magically transfuse valour, courage and power from slain cat to feeble man. Nothing, however, has prepared the tiger to deal with the Indian politician, Politicianicus…

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