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Tiger takes a swim, insensitive people chase it

  Tiger takes a swim, insensitive people chase it Sumesh Rajan January 26, 2021 A couple of boatsmen taking tourists across an estuary in the Sundarbans in West Bengal state of India, sight something floating in the water. As they close in, they realise it is a tiger swimming across the river, and raise an alarm, shouting bagh, bagh (tiger, tiger) in Bengali. While the locals egg the boatman to take the chase the tiger, the tourists can be heard blurting ‘ Wow…Oh my God… ’ in apprehension.   While some shout directions to the boatman to go close to the tiger and one of the tourists exclaims ‘ Nice… ’, the annoyed tiger at one point turns its head towards the boat and growls.   The video shot by one of the tourists in the boat has gone viral on the social media since it was posted on January 23.   However, many on the social media have criticized the group for their insensitiveness in chasing the tiger for a few minutes of fame, and thereby irritating the wild animal in its
Mother elephant grieving for its dead baby charges at insensitive forest staff who disturb it




Story by Sumesh Rajan
Mumbai: February 12, 2018


Wildlife researchers and scientists have observed that besides human beings, some species in the animal kingdom mourn their dead. Elephants, chimpanzees, monkeys, giraffes have been noted for this emotional behavior.

The loss of a family member is heartbreak for many, but the loss of one’s child is devastation for a mother. Displaying such an emotional state, a mother elephant which has lost it's few days old baby is warding off forest department staff at Masinagudi close to the Mudumalai National Park forest area in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu for the past few days.

After receiving reports of stench emanating from the area, members of the anti-poaching watchers (APW) unit of the forest department has been trying to reach the spot and retrieve the corpse of the dead baby elephant for an autopsy. However, the agitated mother elephant will have none of it. And, charges at the staff every time they approach it.

The baby died on February 6, and the stench of the rotting carcass alerted those living in the vicinity who informed the forest department. The APW staff has since then trying to retrieve the dead baby, but without any success as the mother elephant is guarding her dead baby and grieving over it.

Videos show that the APW staff has been trying to scare the elephant with loud horning and noise but to no avail. Today is the seventh day, and the mother elephant is standing her ground in grief.

“When a member of their herd dies, elephants often guard the bodies. They become agitated and appear to investigate the dead animal with their trunks and feet in a ceremonial way. Elephants are highly intelligent and highly tactile animals. Elephants themselves are a matriarchal society and have close bonds within a group. Therefore, a death in the family could have an impact on them, just as it does in human families,” says animal activist S Chandrasekar of Vanam Trust of India, Coimbatore.

He added, “The APW should not be in a hurry to retrieve the dead carcass and disturb the grieving mother. They should wait till the mother elephant gets over its grief and leaves the spot.”

“Just as we humans grieve over our dead, so is the mother elephant grieving over its dead baby. We may never know exactly what goes on inside the mind of an elephant, but it would be arrogant of us to assume we are the only species capable of feeling loss and grief. Scientists have observed extraordinary displays of emotion from elephants. And, just as we don’t want wild animals to enter into our homes, the wild animals also expect humans not to invade their jungle space,” explains Chandrasekar. 

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