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Newsletter 155
11/11/17


Tigress Panna and cubs - picture JV

Hello Friends 

The Indian Connection:

"A sparkling diamond
A fragile life
Through the trees
A shaft of light
Your coat so white
As fallen snow
Your eyes so blue
Like rivers when they flow"

From the song - Shine a Light

I have just spent 8 fascinating days with some of India’s leading conservationists. 

Nikhil Nagle is a businessman who has a passion for wild life photography. Nikhil has established The Last Wilderness Foundation which works in and around where tigers still exist. The Foundation works with communities & in the area of tiger & human conflict. 

Vidya Venkatesh works for the Foundation & is at the cutting edge of the tiger human conflict. She is constantly engaging with people that live alongside the tigers, lecturing, negotiating & educating the people to find ways of reducing conflict between people and tigers. 

Dr Harbhajan Pabla has been warden of the some of the most famous Tiger Reserves in India, including Kanha & Panna. Dr Pabla has been one of most progressive creative conservationists in India for the last 40 years. 

Greatly inspired by the film "Living with Tigers", Dr Pabla has reintroduced Tigers into Panna Reserve, after they became locally extinct. Dr Pabla has engaged the help of South African conservationists, Les Carlise, Geoff Cook & Dr Dave Cooper to help him move tigers & gaur into parks where they previously existed. 

In short Dr Pabla has pioneered the birth of the wildlife animal capture industry in India.

After seeing Tibo in the wild at Tiger Canyons, Dr Pabla is determined that the white tiger will return to Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve where the last white tiger, Mohan, was removed from the wilds in the early 1950’s (There are nearly 100 white tigers in  zoos in India) 

Doctor Pabla who is a world expert on tigers, is not too concerned with inbreeding of big cats. His theory is that a certain amount of inbreeding occurs in the wild & over years of evolution, the strongest genes survived and the weak genes perished. 

All tigers have a narrow genetic base proving they once experienced a evolutionary bottleneck (that is a small population of tigers survived an evolutionary crisis). 

Dr Pabla believes that the white tigers presently in captivity in India, are healthy & strong enough to return to the wilds, should the Indian government give the green light. I would tend to agree with him.

I am thrilled that Dr Pabla could see both Londolozi & Tiger Canyons working under a private enterprise system. 

I would like to congratulate "andBeyond" (previously known as Conservation Corporation) on their brave investment into India some years ago. 

"andBeyond" have not only introduced to India the concept of private enterprise working in government parks, but they have brought a new standard of lodges to India. 

After a talk by Vidya Venkatesh, I was fascinated to learn that around the city of Mumbai, some 40 leopards thrive & survive. Scientists have studied this population of Leopards as they survive by feeding off stray dogs & cats which live in the city of Mumbai.  

I couldn’t help thinking that in a hundred years from now, when the world's human population is 15 billion, (that’s if it ever reaches that high) towns like Nelspruit, White River, Hoedspruit, Phalaborwa & Nelspruit may have populations of Leopards living off their cities, just like occurs in Mumbai today. 

Unfortunately for tigers, needing larger prey & more dangerous to humans, it is not as easy for the tiger to adapt to living off a big city. 

One of the biggest advantages that India has, is that the Indian people like and admire the tiger. Indeed, some of them worship the tiger. This gives conservationists a huge advantage in solving tiger / human conflicts. 

However, when the Tiger has killed one of your family or eaten your entire flock of goats, it becomes a competitor to be exterminated by whatever means possible. 

The huge challenge for Indian conservationists is, how do you conserve the tiger & still meet the needs of the people. India’s population is already 1.2 billion. By 2020 they may exceed China as the most populated country on the planet. The challenge is enormous & it will need creative thinking of conservationists around the world to solve the problem. 

I believe the answer lies in the Londolozi Model. If India pursues the concept of private enterprise working in government parks & in investing in rural people who benefit from the eco-tourism which the tigers brings, they could save & even expand the tiger home range.  

If India pursues a policy of the government will do everything & will own everything,  they will doom the tiger to extinction. 

Indeed, I would like to see the Indian government privatize some, but not all of their parks & even privatize a few of their tiger populations. 

Some years ago, the Indian government supported an idea to ban tourism from the parks in India. Fortunately this has been reversed. India needs to open up restricted areas to tourism so you get a Londolozi scenario of 3 vehicles at a sighting (At times surrounding a tiger in an Indian park, can be 70 vehicles all jostling for position)  

India needs to grow the cake and bring in the unknown parks to help take the load.

They need to invest in colleges where guides are trained. This will lift the standard of guiding and make it a lucrative career.

Above all, they need to invest in the "Elmon Mhlongo Scenario" where they make the tiger more valuable alive to the rural people then dead. (Elmon Mhlongo used to kill Leopards for their skins, then he got a job at Londolozi as a tracker. Now it’s more lucrative to keep the Leopard alive because Elmon can make more money from a Leopard that’s alive than dead.)

The Last Wilderness Foundation
http://thelastwilderness.org/

Tread lightly on the Earth
JV


“The only constant in life is change”
Bertrand Russel. 

After 18 years of doing tiger conservation, I am stepping down as head of Tiger Canyons. The day to day running of Tiger Canyons will be in the capable hands of Rodney Drew. 

I will continue to do a limited amount of exclusive & big cat safaris including the Nine Lives Safari.

Nine Lives Safari 
Itinerary: 

1. The Nine Lives Safari starts at Tiger Canyons: 4 nights. 

  • Visit the den site where JV put the lion cub Savannah into Julie’s litter.
  • Visit the den site where JV lay under Tigress Julie while the cubs suckled.
  • Visit the place where Ron swam across the Gariep River & mauled the cow. 

  • Visit the tree where the monkey jumped out of the tree & tried to swim across the Gariep river. 

  • Visit the site where Corbett attacked JV & relive the bravery of Julianne Reid, Julie Brown & Phumlani Mchunu.  

  • Visit Tigress Julie’s grave where Tibo lay on the grave after Julie was buried. 

2. Travel to Londolozi: 4 nights 

  • Visit Shingalana camp from where Gill & JV rehabbed Shingalana. 

  • Visit the site where Elmon Mhlongo stalked the rhino with Shingalana on his back.

  • Visit the site where the hyenas robbed Shingalana of her duiker kill.

  • Visit the Mashabene where the mother Leopard buried her cub in the sand after lions had killed it. 

  • Visit Python rocks where a Python swallowed Manana’s cub & later re-gorged it after Manana attacked the Python. 

3. Fly to Luangwa Valley: 4 nights

  • Visit Shingalana camp & Shingalana’s grave. 

  • Visit Leopard island where Little Boy & Little Girl were released. 

  • Visit the Luangwa River where JV addressed the Zambian Cabinet on privatization of the parks while Shingalana sat in the audience. 

  • Visit the camp site on Leopard island where the camp burned down after Little Boy had bitten the gas pipe. 

  • Visit the helicopter crash site & relive the incredible flying skills of Rob Parson & bravery of Karin Slater, John Knowles & Lloyd Gumede 

  • Hear the story of Nelson Mandela visiting JV in the hospital at Milpark after the crash. 

  • Visit the site of where the hippo knocked JV out of the banana boat. 

  • Visit the site where a tuskless elephant cow chased JV for 3 kilometres. 

  • Visit the Luangwa River where  a fisherman rescued JV off the island after he was surrounded by crocs as told in the book Nine Lives. 

4. Fly to Masai Mara: 4 nights  

  • Visit the site where JV & Warren Samuels got the perfect Cheetah kill & later calculated her running speed at 58 miles per hour. 

  • Visit the site at paradise crossing where 19 gazelles were taken by the crocs as they crossed the Mara river. 

  • Visit the site of the famous Lion hunt where Ngotoi lost his life & Nanga lost his fingers & Sopia got mauled.

  • Visit the site where Half Tail got shot in mouth by an arrow from Oligashan’s bow  & the Vet later removed the arrow. 

  • Visit Sopia’s boma where Half Tail the Leopard got caught in the snare & then died as she jumped out of a tree. 

  • Meet JV’s partners Lekakeny, Sopia and Cordylla & Karino. 

  • Visit the site where the buffalo chased Karino & Elmon Mhlongo into a tree & JV was left on the ground. 

Nine Lives Safari is an old style adventure with singing, dancing & story telling around the campfire. Accommodation in Luangwa & Masai Mara is under canvas. 

Various people will join the Safari to relive the experiences including Julie Brown, Julieanne Reid, Elmon Mhlongo, Lekakany Sukuli, Karino Sukuli, Beatrice Ndutu, Gulam Patel, Yusuf Patel, Karin Slater, John Knowles, Lloyd Gumede, Warren & Heather Samuels, Andries Druksak.  

The sixteen day Safari will be led by JV & Gillian van Houten. 

If anyone is interested in going on this safari, then please contact Sunette: info@jvbigcats.co.za


Oria produced a litter of cubs

The Tigress Oria has produced at least three cubs in a dense thicket in a dry river bed in the southern part of Tiger Canyons.

The setting of the den is extremely attractive and will provide beautiful photographic opportunities.

All cubs are normal colour. The father is Khumba.

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


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Newsletter 117
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An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
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An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
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Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
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Don't Shoot the Messenger

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Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
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Ambassador Cats

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Blondes have more fun

Invitation
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Gaining ground for tigers

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Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
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Newsletter 100
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Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

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10/02/14
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The Communicators

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Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
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In the Jaws of the Tiger

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11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

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Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
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Zoochosis

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20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

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Raw Power

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

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Corbett's Journey

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In Search of a Mate

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Rumble in the Jungle

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Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

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A Journey to Nowhere

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The John Hume Approach

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Response to Rhino Horn Auction

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24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

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05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
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Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

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04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

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19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

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26/09/11

Rhino Wars

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06/09/11
A Letter to the President

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08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

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11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

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Your future and the Tiger

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08/05/11
Talk to Me

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26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

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18/11/10
Ron's Journey

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20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

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06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

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18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

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The Ethics of
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Tiger Hunt

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The Year of the Tiger

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Runti's Journey


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Emotional humans, emotional cats


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Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


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To all Photographers


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A Shot in Anger


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Newsletter 21
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Tiger Birth
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Tiger Courting


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Privatizing the Tiger


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Newsletter 8
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Newsletter 7
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Tiger Intelligence


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Tiger language
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Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
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Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust