India is an absolutely fascinating country.
Do I hear a
snigger? Oh, I know I am stating the obvious. But I just cannot help myself! Did you know
that out of the worlds 1.5 million animal species we have 75,000 right here in
India? We cover only two per cent of this planets land mass, but possess five per
cent of all living organisms on earth!!
you are wondering
am I rattling off these
figures? Just to drive home the message that here in this subcontinent, human beings
have lived with all these animals for at least 50,000 years. And they have constantly
interacted with each other. Sometimes as friends, sometimes like foes. But always as
partners who shared the same habitat
the same land.
Of course, humans affected the life of the animals around them
as hunters, as cultivators. But also as protectors. Because both depended on each other to
But no longer. In this issue of Gobar Times, I present you Shere Khan,
once the awe-inspiring sovereign, now a hunted beast who is fast going extinct. Why?
Because his lair has been taken over by human beings. Not by those who once shared the
forests with him, but the ones who want to build highways and towns there. And the ones
who would rather see a tiger dead than alive! They make huge profits by selling its skin,
bones and all its organs, you see.
Yes, the centuries-old partnership seems to have come to a gory end. Can it be saved
yet? Read on and find out