Tale of Billy Arjan Singh and Legendary Tigress Tara – I
Legendary conservationist and Author Billy ‘Arjan Singh’ is always remembered for Dudhwa National Park, Lakhimpur Kheri, for his contribution towards forest and wildlife conservation. He was widely honored with various awards, including the World Wildlife Gold Medal, Getty Award, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Order of the Golden Ark.
‘Billy’ Arjan Singh was born in Gorakhpur in 1917, and joined the British army and fought in World War II, His farm Tiger Haven is on the edge of Dudhwa Tiger National Park. He was deeply involved with the project Tiger and his persuasion to the Government led to the creation of Dudhwa National Park and led to the introduction of Tara (Tigress) into the wild.
Tara was raised at Tiger Haven, unrestrained and unconfined, except at night during her growing years, she very occasionally stayed out overnight instead of returning to home.
With her daily walks to established her territory, this free-range walking was the only training, to bring out her wild instincts. Although it was not possible for Billy ‘Arjan’ Singh to apply discipline or hunting tricks and techniques, which her mother would give her. Although she developed an unproductive habit of charging at large prey to scare them away. Her first independent kill was made at the age of 17 months; was a small sambar fawn.
Tara was behind her wild raised cousins, but the best part was that she was able to kill, to some extent, by the time she left the forest on her own.
Two-year-old Tara did return to the wild. She later mated with one or more tigers, producing at least four litters of cubs.
Billy Arjan Singh kept track of Tara partially, though she never returned to Tiger Haven seeking food. But that is far from being the end of the story. It was just the beginning Tale of Billy Arjan Singh and Legendary Tigress Tara