Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Perils of Seeking Thrill

There is a new breed of anti-social elements in the society. They are young, upwardly mobile and utterly stupid. They call themselves trekkers, nature lovers, amateur photographers and wildlife conservationists. But they could not have had a bigger misconception of the adjectives they go by, for a trekker does not venture into the forests without a compass, nor would a nature lover consume alcohol in nature's lap, nor would an amateur photographer instigate the wild animals.

Time and again we forget the fact that nature can be far more devastating and brutal than it can be beautiful or breathtaking. How many times have we not heard about a fun trip gone horribly wrong? In almost all these cases it was totally avoidable, if at all the parties involved applied a little bit of common sense. Satellite television brought shows like Crocodile Hunters and Man Vs Wild into our drawing rooms, but unfortunately it could not develop our common sense. Or maybe we are just too stubborn. Our mind filters stuff we want to watch or inculcate. We admire the landscape and the adventure but disregard the risks and the survival techniques.

It has been observed that a lot of such mishaps happen because of lack of knowledge of the places we visit. It is very important that we know what to expect. A lot of blogs and Wikis give an accurate account of the risks involved apart from giving complete info of the area replete with pictures. Swimming in unknown territories is always a big no-no. You may be a good swimmer, but there's little you can do when caught in a whirlpool. There are also instances of flash floods sweeping away people who tried to be adventurous with the rough waters. It’s very important to respect nature's fury and be overly cautious.

Instances of youngsters going trekking in highly vegetated jungles without a compass and absolutely no idea about the terrain are foolishness of the highest order. And in all likelihood this foolishness switches up one notch higher with the intake of alcohol. Alcohol intake should be strictly avoided in tourist places - more so in the jungles - because inevitably the bottles are strewn around causing harm to all living beings treading that path. Alcoholism combined with smoking is the worst form of tourism menace in this country. There have been instances of forest fires caused by cigarette butts wiping out hectares of vegetation and along with it, its wild life.

Wildlife photography seems to be the new in-thing with these tourists. To get a good shot, amateur wildlife photographers get too close for comfort to elephants and other wild animals. The result is panic settling among the creatures and they start running helter-skelter. The unfortunate outcome of this melee is loss of human lives. We need to understand that elephants are other wild animals are untamed. They are not as affable as domesticated animals shown in Hollywood animation movies. And while we are in their territory it is only natural that we respect their privacy by not interfering in their activities. There is also a lot of misconception among wildlife photographers that wildlife photography equals wildlife conservation. Clicking pictures of wildlife by annoying them can in no way be termed Conservation. The same applies to wild life tourism. Staying in Jungle Lodges does not automatically make you a nature lover or wildlife conservationist. In fact the more of these wildlife tours the more aggravated are the animals. This forces them to migrate farther and farther away and inevitably they end up in a human inhabited place. Straying into human territory usually means getting killed or captured or run-over.

The wildlife of this country has no chance for survival if this trend continues. We must inculcate the habit of responsible tourism in us, if we want our children to enjoy the sights that adventure that we enjoyed. As the Native Indian Tribes wisely said, "We did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrowed it from our children."

Picture Courtesy: Masalah Rakyat, Africa Business Pages, ISDR


  1. Nice write up.
    There is a big big difference in what we think and see in our drawing room on a television and in the real landscape..these bakwas channels just tempts the people that they can be a macho...without giving much importance on the level of experience they had in the nature..

    Nature is the best teacher..if we bow our head and listen to her..if not..she is the best leveller too..

    Nice write up buddy..just it brings all the tragic tales we see in the media about the trekkers who are killed, missing, and so on..hope these kind of information raises the level of understanding about the mother nature...

  2. Thanks buddy!
    Yes I hope this blog brings awareness of the perils of seeking thrill. Afterall the downside of all these tragedies is that in a country like ours the police instead of providing security to these adventure seekers, simply ban the places for all.
    Which is totally unfair to people who genuiinely love nature and respect her beauty.
    The rate at which tourist spots in an around Bangalore are getting closed, we will have no places to visit in the near future.

  3. i find a good and useful information in your post.forest is not a place for fun, we must respect the rules of nature. your post explained the things beautifully . thank you very much.

  4. Thank you Sir! Happy that you liked it :)