Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hunter’s tales

Nature lovers inspired by Kenneth Anderson, hunter and wildlife chronicler, seek to name a forest range after him on his birth centenary

More than half a century ago, when the forests of southern India were lusher with vegetation and wildlife abounded in the jungles around Bangalore, there lived a hunter and writer of jungle tales called Kenneth Anderson. That was a different era; the landmark Wildlife Protection Act, which forbids hunting, was passed only in 1972.

Anderson wrote eight books and close to 60 stories, mainly about his hunting exploits. Each book consists of short accounts of his encounters with man-eating tigers, leopards and rogue elephants in the jungles. There are other stories as well, in which he discusses, among other things, the beliefs of the tribal communities inhabiting the forests, the ethos of the forest, and his love for the woodland.

Anderson was born on March 8, 1910, and died on August 30, 1974, of cancer. A group of nature lovers, who have been inspired by his works and are organised in a society called the Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS), are working towards renaming a stretch of the reserve forest in the Melagiri range in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts of Tamil Nadu after Kenneth Anderson to mark his birth centenary. They also want this stretch, where 20 of his stories are set, to be converted into a wildlife sanctuary and named after Kenneth Anderson, a la the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, which is named after the famous hunter and writer.

Full report here Frontline

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