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Real Stories of Kanha National Park

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Social structure of Gaurs How Kanha got its name
Shravan Kumar Sportsmen Lapsi
Dying to save deer Man-eater of Bhilwani
Bansi and the tiger Bear attack

Social bonding of Gaurs(Bibos gauris)

It was the incident of year-end of 2008. An old aged Gaur (Indian Bison) was attacked by tiger on his rump. It was bleeding profusely which made the Gaur fell down. Tiger sat down in front of him and was waiting for him to die as injured Gaur becomes more dangerous. Due to severe pain and in-ability of stand-up, Gaur was groaning loudly and keeps on attempting to stand up. Hearing the groaning call of a Gaur, near-by herd of Gaurs reached the spot where tiger was still present. Young Gaurs charged on tiger and pushed himself away from site of injured Gaur. As the news of such attack spread among forest guards and through them to safari jeeps, many tourist jeeps started reaching the spot with expectation of tiger-sighting. Presence of so, many safari jeeps and human beings around him, injured gaur felt uncomfortable. Realizing the situation, park management banned the safari jeeps entry on that particular site for few days. It was observed that herd of that Gaur remain their till death of injured Gaur and then they left the place. As soon as they left the place, the tiger that attacked on the Gaur reached the place and consumed the dead body of Gaur.

How Kanha got its name

There are various stories about how Kanha got its name. Some believes that its name is derived from Kanhar, a clayey soil found in the area. Others believe that their was a holy saint called Kanva who lived in this area and Kanha word is inspired from his name.

Sportsmen Lapsi

Lapsi was in Forests of Kanha during 1930 to assist sportsmen in their hunting expedition. He was a expert hunter. Lapsi had thorough knowledge of Forest and nature of animals. While accompanying a hunter in his hunting expedition, they met a wild tiger in the area where Lapsi Kabar is in. When tiger charged on them, Lapsi came forward and did fight with tiger in order to protect his colleague. He fought bravely with the wild tiger but was killed on the spot. In a way to recognize & salute the bravery or Lapsi, a gravestone was erected in the same spot. Now, his grave become important destination of Kanha National Park.

Shravan Kumar

Shravan Kumar tale is described in great Indian epic Ramayana. It is the holy book of Hindus. Shravan Kumar is the only son of blind parents. As in old-age, hindus use to do pilgrimage, Shravan’s parent also wished to do same. Shravan Kumar took them to pilgrimage. He was passing through the forests of Kanha when King Dashratha, father of Lord Rama, was on a hunting expedition in same place.
While passing through forest of Kanha, Shravan’s parents asked Shravan to arrange some drinking water for them as they were feeling thirsty. Shravan went to a near by water tank, called “Shravan Tal” now a day’s, and dipped the pitcher into the water due to which a particular sound was produced. King Dashratha was on his machaan and looking for animal to kill. Dashratha had expertise in shooting at the source of sound without viewing it. In darkness, Dashratha heard the sound produced from pitcher, in a illusion of deer drinking water, he shoot towards the source of sound and killed Shravan.
On hearing the human voice, Dashratha rushed to the spot where Shravan was on his last stage. Shravan requested Dashratha to deliver water to his thirsty parents as they were waiting for him. When Dashratha offered water to them and gave tragic news to them, they refused the accept the water and curse the King as he will also he will also suffer the pain of child separation as they have suffered and they (Shravan’s parents) laid the life on the spot.
As per legend, “Shravan Tal” in Kanha is the place where Shravan went to carry water to his parents. There is a place called, “Shravan Chita” where dead-body of Shravan was cremated. Similarly there is place called “Dashratha Machaan” from which King Dashratha shoot down Shravan in illusion of Deer.

Dying to save deer

 It is a real-life story of a forest guard of Kanha National Park who laid down his life while trying to save a Chital from drowning down in water pool. The name of that forest guard is Ravibhan Singh Thakur, age 32 years, posted in Chhawarighat Camp of Supkhar Range of Kanha Tiger Reserve. He was popularly known by the name of Ravi among his friends & colleagues.
Ravi was a deciplined, hard working and animal lover person. He belongs to one surrounding villages of Kanha. It was March month of year 1989. After completing down routine patrol, Ravi was just returned to his camp. During that time, Ravi was worrying about her beloved wife who was ill during those days. In the mean time, a truck came from road just next to patrol camp and truck-driver informed Ravi about the a Chital who was trapped among water weeds and struggling for life in nearby Peeparwada water pool. In no time Ravi reached the spot on his bicycle and leaves a written message in Patrol Camp wall using charcoal piece.
Ravi reached the Peeparwada water pool and found the chital badly trapped in water weeds. Chetal had almost drowned and was trying desperately to breathe and get released from the mesh. Ravi knows swimming, so in no time he took off his clothes and dived into the tank. Soon he realized that tank was badly infested with weeds and swimming is such case was very difficult. He reached the animal and tried hard to lift him little bit up so that he can manage to breathe. He got initial success in his effort but soon he realized that his own legs were inextricably entangled in the weed-mesh. He tried hard to free himself from the killer web of weeds but all his efforts were in vain. Ultimately Ravi lost his life for some good cause and set example of high moral values and sense of duties. It has also revealed the promising work done by frontline staff of Kanha Tiger Reserve. Ravi’s wife is now forest guard in Kanha National Park.

Man-eater of Bhilwani

It was a incident of between December 1974 and March 1975. The man-eating tiger of Bhilwani killed four people during this period. In initial attempts, tiger attacked on pet animals like cattle, pigs etc. It also injured humans only accidentally not in a pre-planned way. Following the sequence of attacks, he killed a man roaming in the forest. As villages did not took the body of man away from site, tiger ate the body and got the first taste of human flesh. Tiger killed three bullocks successively but due to human interference, he didn’t manage to eat them. In desperation, tiger killed another man.
After a long gap, village boy discovered the dead-body of Bhilwani tiger with broken ribs and marks of months old gun-shot attempts. It revealed the truth that due to gun-shot attempts wounds, tiger was not able to kill his natural prey and he started attacking village cattles & human beings as they were soft targets for him.
It is clear from the fact that it was human beings who had developed the circumstances in which tiger was compelled to kill soft-targets like cattle & human beings to feed him.

Bansi and the tiger

Bansi was a Baiga tribal of local village close to Kanha National Park. He was a seasoned tiger tracker. He had a bloodcurdling encounter with a sub-adult tiger in Kanha.
One morning, while monitoring a waterhole in Kanha Tiger Reserve, Bansi ran by mistake into sub-adult tiger cub. Seeing a human being close to him, tiger charged on him. Bansi ran from the site in no time and scrambled up a tree but the tiger was so furious that he continued to the charge and not ready to leave the place.
At the same time, a large tigress roared from behind. She was with two more cubs. Bansi was trembling with fear. Tigress keep on roaring, this time it was not to terrify anyone but to instruct the furious sub-adult tiger to come back. Cub was in no mood to leave the place and keeps on ignoring the call of tigress. Ultimately, tigress reached the spot and gave louder call to cub in a forcefull manner, this time cub obeyed the call of mother tigress and followed her to steps towards other direction.
Realizing the disappearance of tiger, Bansi slid down the tree and returned to his camp immediately. This was an interesting case of a tigress teaching her cubs as human beings are not their natural prey and one should avoid them.

Bear attack

It was heat waves time of end of June, 2003. Rainy clouds had reached the Central India and downpour was expected in next few days. A forest guard and a game watcher were returning to camp after enjoying the exhilarating sightseeing of a tigress with her three cubs in Deori Dadar (plateau) area.
Both the men were old and had experienced many such thrilling incidents in their life span. Still any encounter with tiger in wilderness was full of joy and thrill. Suddenly they heard snorting, and a huge sloth bear heading towards forest guard and charged on him. Bear threw him on the ground and keep on attacking with her pointed sickle shaped nails. In a bid to save his life, guard shouted for help and keeps on repulsing the bear attack. Shocked game watcher shouted in peak of his voice for help. He hit the bear on back to divert her attention. Bear pushed the game watcher away and continued his charge on forest guard.
Nothing seem working for game watcher. Game watcher realized if nothing positive would be done in next few minutes, furious bear will put full stop on the life of guard. Looking for some wood-stick around the site, game watcher saw two bear cubs in bushes watching the whole scene with curios eyes and innocent faces. They were seems trying to analyzing the situation in their own way. An idea flashed in the mind of game watcher and he rushed at the two cubs with shouting hysterically and raising his arms.
This plan worked, mother bear left the forest guard and moved towards her cubs to rescue them from game watcher´s intended attack. She reached the cubs who frequently climbed on her back and they disappeared in dense bushed. Game watcher carried the badly injured forest guard to near-by patrol camp and gave best available first aid. Considering the severity of injuries, forest guard was transferred to near-by Mandla city hospital and later referred to a private hospital of Jabalpur city for best possible treatment. Forest guard was declared out of danger after being kept in continuous supervision of doctors. Doctor later informed park management, that skull of guard was so badly damaged that significant part of brain was exposed. It was the first aid of game watcher that helped forest guard to survive.
Later, recognizing the presence of mind and intelligent decisions of game watcher, he was appreciated publically in Independence day program in Mandla Stadium Ground and awarded with a cash prize of Rupees 5000/- amid of thunderous applause.

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