Drunk’ man mauled to death by white tiger after leaping into its enclosure at Delhi zoo

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“Seriously, one would have to be almost suicidal to jump into a tigers den! As horrific as it is, the tiger is in no way to blame, it’s natural instincts always remain! My condolences to the family of the dead man; but the tiger was not to blame! Also the enclosure fence seemed sufficient enough to keep people out or falling in!!”

  • By Sara Malm for MailOnline

  • Man killed by white tiger after jumping into enclosure at New Delhi Zoo
  • Victim was ‘grabbed by the neck and dragged round tiger enclosure’
  • According to officials the man appeared to be under the influence of alcohol

A man has been killed by an endangered tiger after allegedly jumping into its moat at an Indian zoo.

The man, named locally as Maqsood, is said to have been under the influence of alcohol when he climbed into the white tiger enclosure at New Delhi Zoo on Tuesday.

Witnesses say the 22-year-old entered the enclosure despite several attempts by zoo security to keep him from the tigers.

Lethal jump: The man, named locally as Maqsood, 22, faces the white tiger in its enclosure at National Zoological Park in New Delhi

Lethal jump: The man, named locally as Maqsood, 22, faces the white tiger in its enclosure at National Zoological Park in New Delhi

Once the man had jumped into the enclosure, the tiger grabbed him by the neck as terrified onlookers began throwing sticks and stones at the animal to try to save him.

Photos posted online of the attack show the tiger standing over the victim, who can be seen curled into a ball, trying to protect his head with his hands.

 A witness said he raced to the enclosure after hearing screams, to see the victim locked in the tiger’s jaws, ‘writhing badly in pain’.

‘Around 1.30pm, when we were in the reptiles area, we heard very loud screams,’ the witness told CNN-IBN news channel.

‘We saw that a white tiger had caught a boy by his neck and he was writhing badly in pain. He kept suffering for the next 10-15 minutes but nobody helped him.’

Another witness said the tiger kept ‘roaming around’ the enclosure, holding the victim by the neck.

Attack: A screenshot from Indian television show the white tiger standing over the man after he jumped into its enclosure at the New Delhi Zoo

Attack: A screenshot from Indian television show the white tiger standing over the man after he jumped into its enclosure at the New Delhi Zoo

Zoo officials said the man had appeared to have been ‘under the influence of alcohol’ and that security had tried to keep him away from the tiger enclosure.

‘Despite repeated warnings that he shouldn’t get too close to the outdoor enclosure, the man eventually climbed over a knee-high fence and small hedges, then jumped down 18 feet into a protective moat,‘ National Zoological Park spokesman Riyaz Ahmed Khan said.

Authorities eventually frightened the tiger into a small cage inside the enclosure.

The man, whose body remained in the outdoor enclosure two hours after the attack, was dead by the time help reached him, Khan said.

The zoo remained open Tuesday afternoon, though authorities eventually roped off the tiger enclosure.

The man, whose body remained in the outdoor enclosure two hours after the attack, was dead by the time help reached him

The man, whose body remained in the outdoor enclosure two hours after the attack, was dead by the time help reached him

White tigers are found in southern and eastern Asia, particularly India, and owe their appearance to a recessive gene. They are regarded as an endangered species.

India is home to 1,706 Royal Bengal tigers and fewer than 100 white tigers, according to the last census in 2011. All the white tigers are in captivity.

Rampant poaching and loss of habitat due to human encroachment are cited as the major challenges to tiger conservation efforts.

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2766329/Indian-zoo-Tiger-killed-man-climbed-moat.html

Published on 24 Sep 2014

Indian White TIGER Kills Student in Delhi Zoo | Tiger Attacks Young Man | Jumps into Enclosure White tiger kills youth at Delhi zoo: New video surfaces New Delhi: A new video of a a 200-kg white tiger mauling and killing a youth after he fell into the animal’s moat in the Delhi zoo, surfaced on Wednesday, sending jitters among viewers.

The nerve-wracking incident, witnessed by scores and captured live on many cameras, took place between 12.30 pm and 1 pm on Tuesday, creating a sensation through the city.
Indian white tiger kills man at Delhi zoo A white tiger has attacked and killed a man who was in its enclosure at Delhi zoo.

Zoo manager Riaz Khan said the young man “leapt over the railing into the tiger enclosure”.

Initial reports described him as a schoolboy or student, but Delhi police later said he was a 20-year-old factory worker.

The victim’s parents reportedly told police that he had received treatment for mental illness. footage
Television pictures showed the frightened man crouching against a wall while the tiger stood near him.

An eyewitness said he was leaning over the barricade which was “very low” and might have fallen inside the enclosure.

“Around 1:30pm, we were in the reptiles area when we heard loud screams,” eyewitness Himanshu told CNN-IBN news channel.

“I ran to the tiger enclosure where we saw that a white tiger had caught the (man) by his neck and he was writhing in pain. Some children threw small sticks and stones at the tiger.
White tiger kills student at Delhi zoo after he ‘jumps into animal’s enclosure’ A white tiger has killed a male student who witnesses say climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo in India and into the animal’s enclosure. National Zoological Park spokesman Riyaz Ahmed Khan said the man ignored repeated warnings that he should not get too close to the outdoor enclosure and climbed over a knee-high fence and small hedges.

Other eyewitnesses said the man was leaning over the barricade and may have fallen inside the closure by accident, according to IBN News Live.

He then jumped down into a protective moat, said Mr Khan. The tiger, which lives on a grassy tree-filled island, grabbed the man from the moat. Footage broadcast on NDTV showed the tiger carrying the man around the island. tigre blanco, ataca, mata, hombre, chico, guy, joven , september, 2014 Tiger kills 20-year-old in Delhi zoo It was a horrific sequence of events that left visitors to Delhi zoo stunned. One among them, 20-year-old Maqsood, scaled a low iron railing and a moat wall with an incline to fall right into the tiger enclosure. Within 10 minutes – before the guards could summon any help – the tiger grabbed him by the neck and dragged him away. He probably died within a few minutes. His lifeless form was then dragged around for some time before the tiger lost interest. In a hair-raising incident, witnessed by scores and captured live on many cameras, a 200kg white tiger mauled and killed a youth after he fell into the animal’s moat in the Delhi zoo, eyewitnesses and officials said on Tuesday.

The incident, which took place between 12.30pm and 1pm, created a sensation and word soon spread through the city, with photos and video of the tiger — one of the zoo’s star attractions — dragging the youth going viral.

Eyewitnesses and zoo officials said the young man, who was later identified as Maksood, 20, a resident of Anand Parbat in Delhi, had “crossed the stand-off barrier” of the white tiger’s enclosure and then fell or jumped into the moat which separated the enclosure from the visitors’ gallery. Tiger kills man in Delhi zoo after silently watching him for 15 minutes Drunk’ man mauled to death by white tiger after leaping into its enclosure at Delhi zoo
Man killed by white tiger after jumping into enclosure at New Delhi Zoo
Victim was ‘grabbed by the neck and dragged round tiger enclosure’
According to officials the man appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. india
“He suffered for the next 10-15 minutes but nobody helped him.”
In the new video, the victim, who felled into the tiger’s enclosure, is seen making a desperate plea for mercy before the big cat. A man has been killed by an endangered tiger after allegedly jumping into its moat at an Indian zoo.
The man, named locally as Maqsood, is said to have been under the influence of alcohol when he climbed into the white tiger enclosure at New Delhi Zoo on Tuesday.
Witnesses say the 22-year-old entered the enclosure despite several attempts by zoo security to keep him from the tigers. Lethal jump: The man, named locally as Maqsood, 22, faces the white tiger in its enclosure at National Zoological Park in New Delhi
Witnesses say the man entered the enclosure despite several attempts by security to keep him from the tigers
Once the man had jumped into the enclosure, the tiger grabbed him by the neck as terrified onlookers began throwing sticks and stones at the animal to try to save him. full

“Once can see by the following video that there was some wire fencing, then a concrete wall that was very high…I don’t know what really happended, but it looks to me like you can’t just fall in; so please don’t blame the tiger!”

Published on 24 Sep 2014

Related articles

Tony The Tiger Gets Pool, But Not Wet (Video Link)

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“I have written many post’s on Tony, including my own personal thoughts; if you wish to read any click this link:-https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/?s=Tony+the+tiger

GROSSE TETE — How do you get a 550-pound Bengal tiger that lives in a cage at a truck stop to crawl into his newly built pool?

Drop a bloody hunk of mixed, ground horse meat and beef on a corner of the tiger’s new wooden pool deck?

Nope. That didn’t work.

Pour electric blue-colored Dawn dishwashing liquid into the pool water to create a bubble bath?

Nope. That didn’t work.

I couldn’t embed the video code, so watch video here:-http://theadvocate.com/news/6852719-123/tony-the-tiger-enjoys-pool#comments

Tony isn’t interested in his new pool!!

Even though the temperature was north of 90 degrees Thursday afternoon, Tony the tiger just wouldn’t budge.

“Too many cameras around. He must be nervous. He’s curious though. I’m sure he’ll get in later when everybody is gone,” said Mike Sandlin, Tony’s owner and owner of the Tiger Truck Stop off Interstate 10 in Iberville Parish.

Instead of jumping in right away, Tony paced inside his 3,200-square-foot steel cage, then plopped down in a far corner.

Tony and his newly built pool are about 96 miles from the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans, where justices will decide in weeks or months to either take up an appeal by Sandlin to allow the tiger to remain at the truck stop or allow a ruling by the state’s 1st Circuit Court of Appeal to stand.

If the appellate court’s ruling stands, Sandlin will be forced to send Tony, his “baby,” to another location.

“As long as God provides me breath and money, I’ll keep fighting to keep Tony here,” Sandlin said between patting beads of sweat on his neck with a hand towel.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nonprofit group that wants Tony removed from the truck stop, didn’t seemed impressed Thursday with Tony’s new pool.

“The bottom line is they can put all the bells and whistles they want to out there. You still have a tiger in a truck stop,” Animal Legal Defense Fund attorney Matthew Liebman said.

“Legally speaking, the pool doesn’t change anything,” Liebman said by telephone from California.

The state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge ruled in April that Tony cannot continue to be housed in an exhibit at the Grosse Tete truck stop where he has lived for 12 years.

The appellate court has refused to reconsider its decision.

Sandlin’s truck stop has been displaying tigers for 25 years.

Tony, a 13-year-old tiger, was sold to Sandlin by a Texas exotic animal breeder when the creature was 6 months old.

State District Judge Mike Caldwell ruled previously that a 2006 Louisiana law bars the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from renewing Sandlin’s permit to house Tony at the truck stop.

The 1st Circuit’s April decision affirmed that ruling.

The appellate panel, however, overturned Caldwell’s decision to allow the Animal Legal Defense Fund to intervene in a civil lawsuit on the side of four Louisiana residents who wanted Tony sent to an accredited wildlife sanctuary.

Caldwell concluded the state agency violated its own rules by exempting Sandlin and Tiger Truck Stop from permit requirements for owners of big cats.

The judge ruled a state permit can be issued only to an individual, not a corporation.

Tiger Truck Stop was the permit holder, not Sandlin, the judge said.

The truck stop’s last annual state permit expired in 2011.

Sandlin contends he has held a federal permit to keep tigers at the truck stop since 1988.

Tony’s ultimate fate hinges on what the state Supreme Court does with Sandlin’s appeal.

In the meantime, Tony has a new pool to cool off in thanks to the man who raised the $3,800 to build it, Joe “Joe Exotica” Schreibvogel.

Tony the tiger gets pool  but not wet  Video    News   The Advocate — Baton Rouge  LA

Joe Exotic

Schreibvogel, who arrived in Grosse Tete on Wednesday with a construction crew of five, said he raised the money for Tony’s pool from viewers of his daily Internet television show, “Exotic Animal TV Starring Joe Exotic.”

Sandlin has said if he is forced by the courts to eventually send Tony away, he will send the tiger to Schreibvogel’s animal park, G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla.

Schreibvogel said he owns 173 tigers.

“I can tell you that I’ve been out here three times,” Schreibvogel said Thursday afternoon. “And I can tell you this: There is no animal sanctuary in America that has this nice of a cage.”

When asked about concerns for Tony voiced by animal rights activists, Schreibvogel shot back, “If they cared so much for Tony, why didn’t they build him a pool?”

Lynn Dool, a truck driver from Ontario, Canada, said he read about Tony’s story online and stopped by Thursday to get a glimpse of the tiger.

“He seems domesticated. He’s been here for 12 years and there haven’t been any problems. I say let him live here,” Dool said.

News Link:http://theadvocate.com/news/6852719-123/tony-the-tiger-enjoys-pool

Response from ‘Free Tony The Tiger:’-

Via The Animal Legal Defense Fund: The Advocate recently wrote a story about a pool that was built in Tony the Tiger’s enclosure. Our response?

“The bottom line is they can put all the bells and whistles they want to out there. You still have a tiger in a truck stop,” Animal Legal Defense Fund attorney Matthew Liebman said. “Legally speaking, the pool doesn’t change anything.”

Please leave polite but firm comments in support of freeing Tony at the following link: http://theadvocate.com/news/6852719-123/tony-the-tiger-enjoys-pool

Tiger Tests Life in Captivity, Chooses Freedom

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A tiger walks into a zoo.

That may sound like the beginning of a joke, but in this case, it’s just the start of an fascinating story. Cats are known for their innate curiosity, and an endangered Bengal tiger in India proved to be no exception.

In April, keepers at India’s Nandankanan Zoo discovered that the wild male tiger had left the forest and — somehow — entered the zoo’s enclosed grounds. The zoo staff had no ideahow the tiger had gotten in, but it didn’t take long to figure out why. By all indications, the lovestruck kitty was attracted to the zoo’s female tiger, which, unsurprisingly, lives in an enclosure.

Concerned by the presence of a dangerous animal wandering the grounds, the zoo prepared a twenty-person team to capture the wild cat before he could attack anyone. However, before the plan was implemented, zookeepers tried a wild idea: opening the female’s cage door.

Amazingly, the wild tiger strolled right in, happy to meet his potential new mate. The zoo staff then found themselves with a new problem on their hands: what to do with the second tiger. The cat, however, had no such worry.

For a month, he made himself at home, availing himself to the free food, shade and sedentary lifestyle that comes with being a captive animal.

But then he apparently got bored.

Tired of life in a cage, the tiger opted to leave the zoo as suddenly as he arrived. Using the same ninja skills that got him into the zoo, he broke out — a feat that should have been impossible. The cat escaped by scaling the zoo’s two-story security wall, an exit that was mostly caught on video, until, like any good escape artist, the tiger severed the camera’s wiring.

“The Central Zoo Authority guidelines prescribe a 16-foot height for enclosure wall, but this enclosure wall was higher,” Chief Wildlife Warden, J D Sharma, told the New Indian Express. “The tiger apparently climbed the walls using the angle irons fitted at 8 feet and 16 feet height to support the structure. There is enough evidence of it walking on top of the wall.”

As for the animal’s current whereabouts, locals say the tiger hasn’t been seen since its prison break, although they believe he may still be in the nearby forests.

Smart kitty.

News Link:http://www.ecorazzi.com/2013/06/07/tiger-tests-life-in-captivity-chooses-freedom/

 

Bengal tiger savages his American trainer to death in front of horrified audience watching circus performance in Mexico

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“My sympathies are with the family at this sad time. However I can not go against my views, that wild animals be caged & used as entertainment for humans. It only becomes a matter of time before a tragedy on either side can happen. Tigers or any other animal do not belong in circuses. No animal should be forced to perform unnatural & repetitive tricks that are harmful to the animals health. It has been well documented that animals in circuses are taught through fear, it is this fear that makes the animals perform, not because they either like or want to.”

” No wild tiger would jump through fire, just as no wild elephant would stand on its head or hind legs. It has also been proven that many animals suffer stress, depression & show signs of psychosis; i.e. repetitive bobbing or pacing back & forth. These powerful creatures belong in the wild not behind a cage, or performing in a circus ring; I think the days of the traditional circus with wild animals will come to an end very soon!”

  • U.S. citizen Alexander Crispin circled two tigers during his act
  • One of the animals then lunged towards him and pulled him down
  • The 35-year-old was bitten on the neck before dying in hospital
  • Video of the attack in Sonora state was posted on YouTube

A tiger killed its trainer during a circus performance in northern Mexico, it emerged today. 6/02/2013

Footage posted on YouTube purportedly shows the trainer, American Alexander Crispin circling two tigers during his act for Circo Suarez in Sonora state.

One of the animals then lunges towards the 35-year-old and pulls him to the ground

This picture is believed to show the trainer Alexander Crispin ‘Suarez’, who was killed by a tiger during a performance of Circus Suarez in the city of Hermosillo, Mexico

Mexican news agency Notimex reported Mr Crispin suffered neck injuries from bites and scratches on Saturday.

He was taken by ambulance to the Red Cross hospital Huatabampo, Sonora where he died while receiving medical care, as a result of hypovolemic shock

The video shows spectators fleeing the circus tent as two workers beat the tiger to free Mr Crispin, who was pinned to the ground.

It is presumed that the Bengal Tiger was killed by one of the companions of the trainer during the struggle to try to save the trainer’s life.

The owner of Circo Suarez was yesterday called to testify at the Public Ministry in the town of Etchojoa, where the attack occurred.

Thumbs up: Alexander Crispin is believed to be shown in this picture playing with a tiger

Valente Malon, who local media says is the owner of the circus currently set up in the town’s Plaza Indigena, was summoned by officials.

In the wild, Bengal tigers live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories to keep their rivals away – but rarely attack humans. “Only when they are fed up performing the same routine acts night after night”

The most famous of these occurred in October 2003 when Roy Horn, of the famous Siegfried & Roy Las Vegas show, was attacked by a seven-year-old white tiger named Montecore during one of the duo’s performances.

Horn was in critical condition for several weeks after he suffered massive blood loss and a stroke, but eventually recovered.

In their natural habitat Bengal tigers are powerful nocturnal hunters that travel many miles to find buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals.

The tigers use their distinctive coats as camouflage and lie in wait and creep close enough to attack their victims with a quick spring and a fatal pounce.

A hungry tiger can eat as much as 60lbs in one night, though they usually eat less. Despite their fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans however, a few do become dangerous man eaters. “Usually when there is a human animal conflict, humans are encroaching on tiger areas which is having a devastating effect on the tigers pray. They are usually killed after they have taken a villagers goat or cow…but they have to eat!”

These animals are often sick and unable to hunt normally, or live in an area where their traditional prey has vanished. Females give birth to litters of two to six cubs, which they raise with little or no help from the male.

Cubs cannot hunt until they are 18 months old and remain with their mothers for two to three years, when they disperse to find their own territory. “That is if they are lucky enough not to get caught in a trap, poisoned or killed by poachers. Tiger wine is having a massive effect on wild tigers, they stand no chance above the human ways of killing”

News Linkhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2273756/Bengal-tiger-kills-trainer-Alexander-Crispin-live-circus-performance-Mexico.html#ixzz2KdOcQ3wa
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

View At Own Discretion (the video is rather blurred & therefore does not show any gruesome, or bloody scenes)

Petition to ban wild animals in the circus:-

Elite Commandos Save 3 Tiger Cubs From Smugglers

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An elite security force in Bangladesh saved the lives of three Bengal tiger cubs on Monday when they raided a house owned by smugglers. Tracking leads that came from a rumor, the team rescued the cubs before they could be sold.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) commandos found the nearly two-month-old cubs playing inside an iron cage at the residence of a wildlife trader in the capital city of Dhaka. They arrested one person at the house.

RAB spokesperson Commander Mohammad Sohail said the house had a number of empty cages inside, indicating that it was used for animal trafficking. They found the residence after hunting down leads that stemmed from a rumor about three young cubs being taken from the forest. Officials with the Forest Department dismissed the story as false, but the RAB team decided to follow the trail which ultimately saved the lives of the cubs.

There are just 440 wild Bengal tigers living in Bangladesh and less than 2,500 worldwide, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In 2010, the Bangladesh government passed strict laws to protect wildlife, including Bengal tigers, but poaching, capturing and trading still flourishes. Experts say poachers have become more sophisticated in their methods and serve as the biggest threat to the survival of the species.

The rescue was the first for tiger cubs in the capital city. The animals were sent to a private mini zoo in Hatirpul to help them gain weight. After being fed human milk, the cubs were suffering from diarrhea and weighed about half of what they should.

Zakirul Farid, veterinarian at the Dhaka Zoo, said the one male and two female cubs were malnourished and dehydrated.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/elite-commandos-save-3-tiger-cubs-from-smugglers.html#ixzz1xbBDxokI

Pa. Senate considers ban of dangerous exotic pets

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HARRISBURG

The Humane Society of the United States is urging the state Senate to quickly pass a bill that would ban the private possession of dangerous exotic animals — including lions, tigers, bears, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, leopards, cougars, cheetahs, jaguars and primates. 

House Bill 1398, sponsored by Rep. Edward Staback, D-Lackawanna/Wayne, is in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Under current Pennsylvania law, it is legal to keep dangerous wild animals as pets provided the person purchases a permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission to keep that animal. There is no requirement that the permit holder notify neighbors, local law enforcement or schools that the animal is being kept. There is very little regulatory oversight, according to the Humane Society.

The Humane Society recently released the results of an undercover investigation into GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla., which revealed unwarranted breeding, tiger deaths and dangerous incidents involving paying customers and their children. The investigator witnessed or heard reports about numerous dangerous public interactions at the roadside zoo – some with a nearly full-grown tiger – including at least six cases where visitors were bitten or scratched.

The facility regularly takes tigers across state lines to shopping malls and other venues for photo opportunities with the public, according to the investigation. In 2008, GW Exotics shipped two 11-week-old tiger cubs to the Genesis Wildlife

Center in NayAug Park in Scranton – a year before Genesis closed down.

“The tigers from GW Exotics may now be living in a Pennsylvania backyard,” said Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for the Humane Society. “We should not wait until another tragedy occurs before adopting strict standards in the law. Pennsylvania’s lawmakers should act swiftly to pass this bill to protect residents and prevent animals from suffering in backyards and basements.”

In 2009 Kelly Ann Waltz was attacked and killed by her pet bear in Ross Township, Monroe County. Waltz also held a permit allowing her to keep a Bengal tiger and an African lion. Waltz was cleaning the bear’s 15-foot by 15-foot steel and concrete enclosure when she was attacked. A neighbor shot the bear after the attack.

Ohio lawmakers this week are considering legislation banning private citizens from acquiring dangerous wild animals as pets.

The Pennsylvania bill does apply to reptiles, amphibians, birds, deer, guinea pigs, ferrets, alpacas and other animals. To see the most recent version of the bill visit:- http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2011&sind=0&body=H&type=B&BN=1398.

News Link:-http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_20676535/pa-senate-considers-ban-dangerous-exotic-pets

Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest

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Jadav “Molai” Payeng started his project 30 years ago when he was still a teenager. Then, in 1979, flood waters washed a large number of snakes ashore on the local sandbar in Jorhat, some 350 km from Guwahati. When the waters receded, Payneg (who was 16 at the time) noticed the reptiles had died due to a lack of forestry.

“The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested,” said Payeng, who is now 47, to The Times of India.

Payeng chose to live on the sandbar, starting a life of isolation as he began work to create a new forest. Planting the seeds by hand, watering the plants in the morning and evening, and pruning them when required, he cultivated a huge natural reserve. After a few years, the sandbar was transformed into a bamboo thicket.

Photo by gozef

“I then decided to grow proper trees. I collected and planted them. I also transported red ants from my village, and was stung many times. Red ants change the soil’s properties . That was an experience,” Payeng recalled.

Over the years, the reserve has seen a huge variety of flora and fauna blossom on the sandbar, including endangered animals like the one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal tiger. “After 12 years, we’ve seen vultures. Migratory birds, too, have started flocking here. Deer and cattle have attracted predators,” claims Payeng .

Unfortunately, locals reportedly killed a rhino which was seen in his forest, something that Payeng clearly disapproves of.  ”Nature has made a food chain; why can’t we stick to it? Who would protect these animals if we, as superior beings, start hunting them?”

Amazingly, the Assam state forest department only learnt about Payeng’s forest  in 2008 when a herd of some 100 wild elephants strayed into it after marauding through villages nearby. It was then that assistant conservator of forests Gunin Saikia met Payeng for the first time.

“We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar. Locals, whose homes had been destroyed by the pachyderms, wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng dared them to kill him instead. He treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in,” says Saikia. “We’re amazed at Payeng. He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero.”

Read more: Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

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