A pair of African Grey Crowned Cranes, from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. These cranes are pure romantics. The male and female are mates for life and raise their chick together. The breeding display involves the immaculate display of feathers, dancing, jumping and bowing to please the mate.
Langur monkeys are abundant across India, but watching young ones playing and interacting with one another in the forests is an absolute delight. The more I spend time around animals, the more I realise how their emotions and actions are much like ours. To anybody, visiting the reserves in India, I highly recommend spending time with common animals, just observing and learning from them, rather than perpetually running after the big cats.
A male tiger known as Bajrang drinks water from a perennial stream in Bandhavgarh National Park. I have tracked almost 100 different tigers in Bandhavgarh and know each of them individually. Tigers can drink for up to 20 twenty and then go without water for almost two days. More than 600 rivers, streams and rivulets originate out of India’s Tiger Reserves. It is vital for us to protect these habitats for our own long term survival.
The Chital deer is one of the most common species of deer found in India. And a good number of herbivore population in any given park is vital for supporting its population of predators such as tigers, leopards, jackals and dholes (Indian Wild Dogs). If a region gets deprived of prey, predators start relying on cattle for survival and that’s when things go wrong, as they come into direct conflict with humans. Many carcasses are poisoned by cattle owners in retaliatory killings.
Mess With The Gaur, You Get The Horns
The Indian gaur — the largest extant bovine and wild cattle in the world — once roamed across India in herds numbering thousands. But due to habitat loss and unsustainable development interfering with their migratory routes, they have been confined to small forested pockets and in many places, they have gone extinct.
With Flying Colours
Nothing symbolises the beauty and splendour of India’s forests better than a peacock. No wonder it is our national bird. They are common across India and closely interwoven with our culture, religion and local practices. Seen here is a peacock announcing its presence on a monsoon afternoon.
Nature of the Beast
I have spent over a decade with tigers in Bandhavgarh which has allowed me rare glimpses into their personal lives including moments like these. I have known many tigers since they were cubs and it feels like we have grown up together. Each and every tiger has a unique stripe pattern which helps in distinguishing one individual from another, and much like their stripes, each tiger has a unique personality just like you and I. It is crucial in understanding tiger behaviour and the needs of every single individual in order to make a better framework for wildlife conservation.
Partners for Life
My goal has always been to connect people with nature through my photography, documentaries, virtual safaris or by taking them on in-person guided safaris across the world. I aspire to tell stories that would evoke passion in hearts and minds across the world and urge them to play their part in conserving our beautiful natural heritage.
During my time in South Africa, I got a chance to film the relocation of two big male lions from one reserve to another. This is an important step in ensuring the long term diversity and viability of the wild lion population in the area by introducing a new genetic character, which prevents inbreeding. It was quite a privilege being in such close proximity to these mighty cats