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Of monsoon tourists and other damaging animals

Debating natural human predation in a poacher-hit Melghat.

We are driving out of the magnificent misty landscape of Melghat and I am intrigued by the outcome of a debate. Every monsoon, our small group of friends flocks to the forests. It is an old boys’ annual reunion of sorts. Last July, we spent a few days in the deodar heights — draped in luxuriant moss and blooming with a million ferns overlooking the Corbett tiger reserve — just half an hour’s drive from the madness of a tourist-beaten Nainital. The year before that, the destination was the cozy Konkan hills lapped by a rainy sea.

For someone like me who is in and out of forests round the year on work, this annual routine is doubly rewarding. For a change, I get to enjoy the forest without having to chase and kill deadlines. And because we schedule these trips during the monsoon, the dripping green of soaked canopies and fortified undergrowth presents a raw, overpoweringly tactile jungle experience that I, like many, adore the most. It is the wildest most forests get — with leeches, barely-there roads, tumbling trees and all.

Full report here DNA 


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