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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…

The Art Of Death

April 2006: He was afraid for the minute; but it is impossible for a mongoose to stay frightened for any length of time, and though Rikki-tikki had never met a live cobra before, his mother had fed him on dead ones, and he knew that all a grown mongoose’s business in life was to fight and eat snakes. Nag knew that too, and at the bottom of his cold heart, he was afraid. –…

Eternal Vigilance

February 2006: What you love. What is precious. What you hold dear... you must protect. So. The questions must be asked. “Do we love wild nature? Are our forests, rivers, coasts and mountains precious? Do we hold our natural heritage dear to us? And do we wish to secure these assets for posterity?” If so, the price we must be prepared to pay is ‘eternal vigilance.’

Command And Control

December 2005: The vision disturbs me every day of my life.


Like exquisitely crafted sand castles collapsing under the weight of soggy impermanence, the tapestry of human happiness wilts – forest by thinning forest, river by lifeless river.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

October 2005: I cannot imagine a world without tigers. And no, I am not one of those ‘bunny huggers’ that hard-headed ‘realists’ love to hate. I cannot imagine a world without tigers because I know that their presence, along with that of snow leopards, whale sharks, Siberian Cranes, blue whales, giant squirrels and king cobras, is proof positive that ‘Nature’s Plan’ has…

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