Predatory tourism


A Saturday afternoon somewhere in British India, in September 1913, just one year before the Great War (as if it could ever be great), two Englishmen were talking:

-“What are you doing tomorrow, Jack?”

-“Nothing much, I thought about shooting a tiger or two.”

-“Don’t mind if I joined? I would be excited to go for an elephant myself.”

-“No, please, you are welcome, we will take along some brandy.”

A Saturday afternoon in September 2013 in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, one day before Kumar, a villager, was killed by a frightened elephant while taking tourists illegally into a Reserved Forest, this was the conversation between two IT specialists:

-“What are you doing tomorrow, man?”

-“Nothing much da, I thought of a night jeep safari and before, a trek from the eco-resort.”

-“You don’t mind if I joined? I would be excited to come close to an elephant.”

-“No, please, you are welcome, we will have some booze as well.”

In 1913 there were tens of thousands tigers and hundreds of thousand elephants in India. Today tigers are little more than 1,000 and elephants maybe ca. 20,000. The difference between sport hunting and predatory tourism is that – no wait, there is no difference. You end-up killing the last tigers by disturbing them, you put yourself in danger and worse, you get people killed. In wildlife reserves, avoid all activity that is not supervised by trained and authorized persons.

Jean-Philippe Puyravaud