Wilidlife photography ain`t that simple
Many of us tend to regard wildlife with a degree of awe. This has much to do with representations by the popular media, images circulated by television channels such as the National Geographic and Discovery, and the curiosity created by a genre of travel writing. Such accounts do help create interest in wildlife, and in conservation, but they also foster an image of the wild that is a little distant from reality.
This false glamour has a genealogy that dates back to accounts of 18th and 19th century European travellers to the colonies. By the late 19th century, accounts of Indian wildlife had a captive market in England. As animals became rare, they also became exotic. Tigers, for example, had become rare by the times of Kenneth Anderson and Jim Corbett. And that explains a lot of these writers’ popularity. Anderson writes in Jungles Long Ago, “I have received many letters urging me to continue writing, if for no other reason but to increase the public interest in the jungles and the wildlife that remains in India.”
Exotic India The writings of these naturalists fitted perfectly into their image of exotic India. In the short story, A Night in the Spider Valley, Anderson talks of a night jaunt in the forest “unarmed” with his friend. The author’s swagger notwithstanding, it must be remembered that most people who lived in and around the forests at that time did not carry arms