Nita Berry
Nita Berry
10 INDIAN ANIMALS YOU MAY NEVER AGAIN SEE IN THE WILD by Ranjit Lal Duckbill Books, 2019, 90 pp., 200
November 2019, volume 43, No 11

Any ‘development’ that destroys natural habitats is not development at all, just sheer destruction. This is the theme of Ranjit Lal’s book that eloquently echoes the Native American proverb, ‘We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’

The destruction of our rarest animals and their habitats is happening at an alarming pace, as a consequence of which many beautiful species are on the verge of extinction. Even the meagre 5% of our country’s area protected by law has been ravaged. Shameful indeed!

Forest land is being put to more urgent uses, highways run through national parks and sanctuaries, and mines and dams result in whole scale destruction. There is also the serious problem of noise pollution. ‘For a wild animal—especially a carnivore—living cheek by jowl with noisy, impatient, irascible human beings and all their clutter is a risky proposition.’ And river pollution caused by effluents, fertilizers and pesticides, all of which wash down into rivers turning them into toxic sewers, is fast wiping out water creatures like crocodiles and river dolphins.

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