Bangalore-based Ajit K. Huilgol’s photograph titled ‘Leopard Descending,’ which shows a leopard climbing down a tree, has been declared runner-up in the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2009, in the Behaviour: Mammals category.
The competition was jointly organised by the Natural History Museum, London, and the BBC’s Wildlife magazine.
Huilgol’s work (shot with a Canon EOS-1D Mark lll + Canon 500mm lens; 1/80 sec at f8; ISO 400) was chosen from among more than 43,000 entries from 94 countries.
From the Natural History Museum website:
“Driving along a twisty track in Nagarahole National Park in southern India, Ajit didn’t see the leopard until he was almost at the tree—rather, he spotted her flicking tail hanging down like a bell-rope. In the thick forests of southern India, leopard sightings are rare, and ones lasting more than a few moments are rarer still. Draped over a branch, the female posed for Ajit ‘like a professional model’ for a full 20 minutes. The end of the show was signalled by the sound of a vehicle. But instead of leaping from the tree, she swept straight down the trunk ‘with a grace that was truly sublime’.”
Ajit Huilgol, a kidney specialist, in his own words on his love for the wild:
“Like all children, I was very fond of animals and birds. As Ullas Karanth says, all children grow up listening to stories of the denizens of the jungle. In fact, even our chocolates and biscuits were shaped like animals or birds. But, once we start to go to school, we become ‘uneducated’ in a way. Our heads are filled with history, geography, maths, and other subjects, and animals take a back seat. This happened to me, too.
“When I was young, Jim Corbett‘s tales held me spellbound. I longed to go to the forests he had mentioned and see the wildlife for myself. However, lack of money was a major constraint. I had to study hard to become a doctor and then I specialized in kidney transplant surgery, which is what I do for a living.”
Link via Mahesh Vijapurkar
Photograph: courtesy The Hindu
Also read: In Nagarahole, tigers are like city buses…
Why our Nagarahole scores over Ranthambore
5 years=1,825 days=43,800 hours=The End?
Congrats Doctor. Hope I too earn money enough and by the time I have that money, I have energy to go to wild and have some stories to tell like this. And hope by the time, there still would be wild life in there!
The photo is simply unbelievable ! Heart Congrats to Ajit Huilgol..
Congrats Dr. Ajit ! I never knew this side of your expertise !
awesome! what a beautiful animal.
long live the leopard.
ajit huilgol zindabad.
An amazing action shot of a beautiful cat. Richly deserves to be the winner..
Dr. Ajit is a well known Kidney Transplant surgeon and savior of lakhs of families. In Bangladesh he is better known as Allah ka Hath ! A very humble and fine human being !
He is also a frequent Cricket Commentator in Kannada.
Dr Ajit Congratulations!!! This is truly amazing.
Beautiful development today at the Karnataka High Court:
HC RULES OUT NIGHT TRAFFIC IN BANDIPUR
Mysore, Nov. 6 (KMC)- The High Court has upheld the ban of traffic on the Bandipur National Highway during night hours. “Give back the lives of dead wild animals and then you may ply on the road during nights”, is what the HC Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Mohan Shanthanagowdar, told the State Government, after hearing the appeal filed by the State Government.
The High Court’s ruling imposes a ban on the road linking Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu States.
The Bench has refused to review the earlier order that prohibits vehicles from plying on the national highway 212 that links Kerala via Bandipur National Park between 9 pm and 6 am.
However, it has asked the petitioners to submit a report pertaining to steps taken for wildlife conservation under similar circumstances, in other countries of the world. The hearing has been postponed till then.
The national highway passing through Bandipur touches Sultan Batheri (Wynad district) in Kerala and Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
As such, continuous traffic movement poses a major disturbance for the wild animals. The noise and lights not only disturb the wildlife solitude but also have proven to be fatal for wild animals on several occasions. In view of this, Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner had passed a circular last June, banning traffic on this road during nights.
Six days later, a public interest litigation was filed by L. Srinivas Babu, alleging that the DC’s order had been withdrawn, bowing under pressure from Lorry Owners Association and timber lobby.
The bench, after hearing the PIL, passed an order during July, banning traffic movement between 9 pm and 6 am. The State governments of Karnataka and Kerala had then appealed for vacating the ban order, by pointing out that 375 lakh Sabarimala devotees used the road in 2008.
The State governments argued that the ban would cause lot of inconveniences to the general public as 70 truck-loads of vegetables, two container-loads of Milk, eight loads of eggs, seven loads of Chicken and goods were transported to Kerala daily via the Muthagi Checkpost.
The bench, during the hearing, said that wildlife was the nation’s and world’s asset and it became the duty of mankind to protect these assets.
“Mankind has several options before them to lead their lives. But the animals cannot complain. Who will they turn to for help?”, the bench questioned the governments.