What looks like a simple image at first glance, this picture from the Mizoram’s Dampa Tiger Reserve is a ‘historic’ click. This is the first proof of the presence of a tiger in the reserve since the last spotting of the big cat in 2014. However, it is not so easy to spot the big cat amid the thick cover of vegetation but if you look closely enough you may see a pair of eyes staring back at you. In the post shared along with the picture on Instagram, @sancturyasia also narrates the fascinating story behind it.
The picture was clicked by one of the forest guards named Zakhuma Don who had set up a camera trap in February 2021. After three months of first setting up the trap, Zukhama finally recovered the camera in mid-May and was going through the images captured when he first spotted the tiger in this picture. He then sent it forward to authorities for confirmation that reverted positively and told him that the picture indeed features a big cat.
Check out Sanctuary Asia’s Insta post:
Since being shared on June 14, the post has garnered over 5 thousand likes with several comments from users who tried spotting the big cat in the picture.
“Found it. Eyes that glint back through the dark forest. Fantastic Pic!” wrote a user. “Left border in the middle can see stripes," commented another, sharing the location of the tiger in the picture.
Could you spot the tiger here?
Many other users also expressed their happiness and congratulated Zukhama for the rare spotting. The Dampa reserve is often referred as the “tiger reserve without tigers" after the last census in 2018 brought forth no proof of the big cat’s presence. But now this spotting is surely going to change that notion.
Zukhama who is a veteran conservationist has patrolled Dampa’s forests for many years and has guided stalwarts such as scientist T R Shankar Rama. He is an alumnus of the Green Hub Project and Sanctuary’s own Mud on Boots Project.