OPINION

Photography Times: The Sumatran Tiger

February 22, 2010
Vidhya

It was a bright sunny warm winter afternoon. And the objective of the day was to get a few shots of one of the most majestic creatures of the human times. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorizes the Tiger as "Critically Endangered", which makes it just one step away from being "Extinct in the wild" and two steps from "Extinct".

My first sight of the Sumatran tiger was when he was fast asleep. The ranger told me the Tiger was done with its midday meal, so not surprising. But what was surprising, was how the Tiger slept!

He rested his head on the arm of the wooden bed that became the pillow and rested its arms over the side planks that looked as if he was hugging another pillow.

It was time to wait until I could catch more glimpses of the tiger. There was a shady corner where I took seat over an overgrown root of a tree and started munching some Bourbon biscuits. The sun was warm overhead on an otherwise great day for photographing tigers.

The wait was finally over as the Tiger raised his head and stared at the pile of rocks, trees and the onlookers right ahead. I sprang to my feet forgetting I was actually recovering from a ligament sprain and sprinted into the corner that would keep me at a comfortable angle to watch the tiger. He got up from his slumber and walked past and down his rocky bed as majestically as only he could.

The walk continued for the next minute as he seemed to look around searching for a shady corner. Wonder if he had spent too much time outside of his native land, that he got used to alien weather, rather than the hot and humid conditions of Sumatra. Once he found a corner protected by the shade of the large rocks, he made himself comfortable to cool down from his sleep.

Now came the yawn.

Statistics say, there are less than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. Deforestation is a major threat to the Sumatran Tiger and the continuing loss of habitat is intensifying the crisis to save this tiger.

Vidhya is an Independent Artist and a student of New York Institute of Photography. Twitter. Facebook. Facebook Photography Page. LinkedIn.
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