The revival that is Panna

Pic 1: the tiger’s revival has been possible owing solely to the dedication of the Forest Department

“When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option, it’s a necessity”-Steve Pavlina
I couldn’t agree more with Steve Pavlina. And though, many would agree with the above mentioned quote, the true value of it, is understood, not only by all those present at Panna but is played out by them every minute, of every day too.
Panna Tiger Reserve was declared officially “tiger less” in the year 2009. The world went into shock with the disappearance of one of the most charismatic cats from an important tiger reserve, with articles, reports, headlines and even dinner table conversations revolving around Panna’s debacle. As the news spread, everyone raised questions of “Why?” “How?” and “When.” but the only question being raised and addressed by the most important component of this story – the Forest Department of this reserve was – “How? not how it happened, but - how do we get the tiger back into these forests.”
Now, as we all know, with the successful re- introduction of tigers in 2009 (to know more about this revival, log onto: ( Panna, boasts once more of the presence of the monarch of the Central Highlands - the tiger.
This has been possible, owing to the diligence and dedication of the Forest Department led on with an almost burning passion for this forest by its Field Director, with of course significant help from the prolific breeding pattern of the tigers, resulting in the park having 30 tigers in its realm.
In 2014 April, I had the honour of visiting this reserve wherein, I was privy to the work of the Forest Department. It was indeed a special visit as, apart from being witness to the amount of work the Forest Department puts in to bring a species back from the dead, we were also firsthand witness to how the tiger tests, or rather challenges the loyalty of man to save/revive its kind! Mind you it’s no easy task, for from monitoring tiger families, to tracking them, to helping them ease into their surroundings, to following them while they make their epic feline journeys the Forest Department of this unique tiger reserve has seen and done it all.
Each person of the staff irrespective of his/her rank addresses the park and its issues as their own. There is never a question of it will be done. It is always – “it is done.” And indeed, it is done- the revival of the park and its tigers, and undone is the lost faith that we can’t save what is important to us and that what we love, for- “When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option, it’s a necessity”.
Panna is a shining example of what all forests should aspire to be, a safe haven, a sanctuary for all those living within, for their safety will ensure survival of our kind....

Glimpses from the Reserve:


Pic 2: A sliver of the magnificence

Pic 3: Dhudhwa falls - the white secretion are vulture droppings

Pic 4: The serenity that is Panna

Pic 5: Blue- green waters at Gehrighat

Pic 6: Karnavati, an important source of water for the park and its inhabitants

Pic 10: T-4 walking out of the Lantana bushes

Pic 11: The beautiful T-4

Pic 12: The tigress (T-4), the collar and the lantana

Pic 13: The beautiul T-2

Pic 14: Radio- collared T-2

Pic 15: Tracking the tiger, Forest Department staff tracking T-2

Pic 17: Panna is also home to interesting fauna like the elusive chinkara


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