Wildlife enthusiast Latika Nath says that people need to understand they are fighting for their own survival when they look at stories of other species. By Team Viva
Imagine yourself in a forest witnessing the strength of the tiger, the stealth of the leopard, the fragility of the cheetah, the brute power of the jaguar, the assured confidence of the puma, the magical ability of a snow leopard to disappear, the terrestrial lifestyle of the clouded leopards, and the machismo of the lions. It is likely to captivate and bound you to spend more time with them.
Directed by John Downer, the series Serengeti takes you to a similar journey into the unspoilt corner of Africa, discovering the most iconic Savannah animals in the world and examines and explores their daily lives.
An Indian wildlife enthusiasts Latika Nath shares her experiences of visiting the place and its wildlife while the series was being shot. She says that she got struck by seeing the vastness of the savannah grassland, all without human habitation and concrete structures, and the sheer numbers of the wildlife.
The reducing number of tigers is a matter of concern all across the world. Why is nothing concrete being done to save them? “As long as the political benefits from the uses and conversions of tiger habitat are larger than the costs of maintaining them it will not help. It will undermine all conservation efforts for the long-term survival of the tigers.” She further says that we need a leadership where all echelons of the government and all ranks of the bureaucracy are committed to the conservation of our national animal.
The world is facing the issue of climate change, glaciers are melting, there is non-periodic shift in the weather patterns. Latika says, “There needs to be a widespread awareness that tiger is an umbrella species and by affording protection to the forests we are ensuring the conservation of water, gene pools of fauna and flora and also fighting climate change in the most effective manner known today.
Latika says that out of all species that she had encountered the great cats fascinated her the most. “All of them were incredible.” She says that every encounter with a wild species is special. “One of the most extraordinary ones in recent times would be walking with a pack of wild dogs in Africa some years ago. The closest I got to them was three feet on foot, unarmed and alone,” adds she.
Our ecological system is under constant threat. It is very important to understand that it is the need of the hour to save the system from collapsing else it will have long term implications on our sustainable development as well. Latika says, “Man needs to control his greed and learn to act as a guardian for the lands he lives in. He needs to understand that he is fighting for his own survival when he talks of the survival of the species on this planet.”
While the word of wildlife crisis spreads across, the young generation is also taking interest and efforts in its revival. Latika shares that she has been approached time and again by youngsters. She likes spending time with them and having interesting conversations with students of all age groups. “There is an increasing awareness of the need for conservation of species and to fight climate change in children of all age groups today,” she adds.
She always want to be in the field exploring different species all across. She tries to make a difference by making people aware about the revival of the species and natural elements. “It is essential to contribute to the environment, even if it is small and at the grassroots level,” says she.
(The series will premiere on Sony BBC Earth on September 9.)
Writer: Team Viva
Courtesy: The Pioneer