Fri, 14 Jan 2022 06:02 PM IST
Pilibhit/Lucknow | Jagran News Desk: A rare excitement shines within bespectacled eyes of Pilibhit’s ‘Tiger Man’, Atul Singh, every time he hears that a Tiger has strayed away from the wild. He once helped the forest department to chase a tiger for three days, finally facilitating his capture and subsequent transfer into wild.
“Tiger is a beautiful creature. Sometimes he doesn’t care a bit about the events happening around him and the next moment you may see him trying to scare him away,” says Atul Singh.
Atul Singh, also known as Pilibhit’s ‘Tiger Man’, remembers at least a dozen encounters with Tigers away from their wilder roundabouts in Pilibhit. Based at Madhotanda village near Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, he is a ‘Tiger Friend’ for past fifteen years. In 2019 when WWF-India (World Wide Fund for Nature) initiated ‘Friends of Tiger’ programme, Atul Singh was the first person to sign up for it.
Atul Singh remembers his first encounter with a Tiger away from the wild in year 2005, when he came to know about tigress entering a nearby village. “In those days we did not have the mobile phones. We would go chase the foot prints of tiger and while asking people around about the last time they sighted tiger, I travelled a distance of 20 km by foot,” Atul Singh says.
That tigress had attacked a farmer ploughing his field, Singh says.
Singh says that he finally saw that tigress relaxing below a tree. “She was beautiful and her eyes had a unique shine within the. Her farther paw was injured. We have her whereabouts to the Forest Department but she just vanished before anyone could come to close on to her. After that nobody heard anything about her,” Atul Singh says.
Singh is credited for saving six Tigers, three Gharial crocodiles, six python snakes and many herbivores of the wild along with the associates of WWF-India and Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. Apart from that, Singh has been the person of the moment for both WWF-India and Forest Department in the awareness programmes in place in Pilibhit to minimise human-animal conflict.
A well respected figure, Atul Singh’s enigma to save tigers and wildlife inspires local youth to adopt a more reconciliatory approach to save wildlife in the region.