If you find no signs of the big cats, even after 24 hours of patrolling, it is not because of the stealth with which tigers creep through the mottled forest – but, because India’s tigers are vanishing.
It is contemplated that as many as 100,000 tigers roamed India 100 years ago. But, to tis disappointment based on a 2001 census, officials estimate there are just 3,500 tigers left. But conservation activists believe there are far fewer than what they have estimated.
The big cats are killed for their pelts and bones, and the high profile villains are gangs of poachers. The tiger pelts and bones are used mostly in making traditional Chinese medicine. And as such, a single tiger carcass can fetch up to US$50,000 (euro42,000).
Sariska is one of India’s premier tiger reserves. But, it has been discovery last year that poachers have mercilessly wiped out every tiger in the region. A beefing up of security in the parks is the utmost necessity of the time to help the species from extinction.