The Hunt for the Bengal Tiger: A Riveting Tale of Failure & Despair

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

I really hit the jackpot with the title this time didn’t I?

So there I was, with a whole free weekend ahead of me, in a huge city, typing out my options on a Microsoft Word sheet. Where shall I go tomorrow to take some epic pictures?!

After much debate with myself over whether I should venture out to Old Delhi, about two hours away, and dusty loud and totally mad (a photographer’s dream!) – I decided not to, just yet. Because 1. I was going with another Sri Lankan noob like me and Old Delhi is like Pettah except a hundred times bigger and crazier 2. I was fasting and would quite surely die from the dehydration of finding my way through the winding little street channels of Chandni Chowk under daylight’s heat while simultaneously secretly panicking about Delhirapistsofdoom.

So naturally we went to the zoo instead.

Not just any zoo, mind you! The National Zoological Park of Delhi! Home to the Himalayan Black Bear! To the African Lion! Jaguars! And… wait for it… the Bengal White Tiger. Sprawling over 176 acres, the National Zoological Park is home to about 1350 animals representing almost 130 species of animals and birds from around the world. This is some high tech shizz, a far, far cry from the kakki enough-to-make-you-breakdown-and-cry sorry state of ye ol’ Dehiwela zoo.

So R and I set off, me more annoyingly excited than ever over the hopes of my camera capturing bears going ‘GRAWR, MOFO!’ and jaguars prowling around all stealthy-ninja-like and mostly the White Tiger being all awesome and like, ‘I’m a white tiger. Sup?’ And monkeys and snakes and all that fun stuff. Yay.

We walked in. And we were walking for a while… Man, these people really know how to keep the suspense, I tell R.

About twenty feet in, we met this.. creature. It was blue and orange and had peerless eyes that looked questioningly into my very soul.

Who are you? I asked
I am where hopes and dreams go to die. it croaked.

People fed it offerings of empty Pepsi cans and chips packets and such which were sucked into this black hole in front of it and were lost forever. It was just.. I have no words to describe my horror.

Anyway afterwards we finally got to the deer and a few ground-birds like ducks – the boring part of any zoo which I usually skip. And then we ran around trying to find the BEARS and the LIONS and the BENGAL TIGER.


You know when you tell a kid they can have a hundred chocolate bars if they run from one end of the room to the other a hundred times, and their face lights up and they run back and forth excitedly like a happy little retard, and then they finally find out.. IT’S ALL A LIE?!

Yes, I was that heart broken.

Basically Delhi’s National Zoological Park, near the Red Fort in Pragati Maidan, is an awesome place for the conservation of animals. They’re seemingly given ample freedom and are fed really well and the place is constantly adopting orphan animals and birds. It’s clean and green and any sort of teasing the animals or bringing food or drinks into the main area is very strictly prohibited.

But as a place you actually pay to visit, as a zoo… it sucks.

What the website implied I would see:

What I was actually allowed to see:

Oh but a minute later, this guy flopped on its back and fell asleep hidden behind the long grass

What the website implied I would see:

What I was actually allowed to see:

“LOOK! It’s a wild black bear! Oh wait, it’s just a fucking shrub, my bad.”

Loads of times, we would just stand there, looking into these vast pits allotted to these animals, waiting for some sign of life.

Me: Okay, what am I looking at here? *peering into the trees*
R: There’s a warning board that says Dangerous Animal.
Me: Dangerous.. and invisible.. like a.. NINJA?! THIS IS WHERE NINJAS ARE KEPT, R.
R: Um.. I’m going to go stand over there now.

It was a lot of trees and shrubs and nothing much to see at all. Only the deer and the geese liked to come out and see us, the rest were just like, ‘screw you guys! I’ma hide in my bush kbye.’ I heard one visitor mumble in Hindi, ‘I should have stayed at home and watched tv instead.’ At least they had an icecream stand in one section of the zoo, as if to help wash away the bitter taste of disappointment. Sigh.

One sole consolation was the stray monkeys, jumping around trees, sitting in the middle of the pathway all badass-like, giving people the stink eye.
They made me happy. In a yellow smiley face kind of way.

Although most of you already know me, censoredface adds to my mystery and allure

  1. Aamina Nizar says:

    HAHAHA…….well your post made my day :)…

  2. T says:

    though i feel bad for you, your post makes me so happy. Zoos are the devil and I applaud any place that gives the animals some leg room. Have you SEEN how the tigers in the Dehiwela zoo live?

    • makuluwo says:

      YES duh, I am totally one hundred percent anti-dehiwela-zoo. This place is great as a home for animals but pointless as a place for humans to visit.

  3. Angel says:

    Pointless unless you really, really like geese and monkeys…

    Happy Eid!

  4. pp says:

    wild animals no. you take your chances when you go to see them.

    makes you think twice about going to see white tigers.

  5. N says:

    Go early in the morning or evening time when the animals are most active. I’ve seen plenty by doing that at places like the San Diego Wild Animal Park whcih has a lot more hiding places than the Delhi zoo.

  6. Jack Point says:

    Well I suppose its rather like seeing them in something close to their natural state. Unless they are actually crossing a path it is difficult to see them properly.

  7. Shehan says:


    Brilliant post! Seriously, with the kind of day I’ve been having this is just what i needed 🙂

    Cheers, You’ve just made my day..


  8. There’s a post strangely similar to this on

  9. Chavie says:

    LOL this is funny! 😀 Awww. 🙂

  10. Hey there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Appreciate it!

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