Big cats oblige Clinton

Big cats oblige Clinton  the flurry of activity to get the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan ready for us President Bill Clinton's three-hour visit on March 23 had the animals in a panic. While authorities scampered to prop up the park, all the noise created by hundreds of labourers and road repair machines disturbed the animals.

Although the tigers in Ranthambore did oblige President Clinton with an up-close view, there were doubts before his arrival as to whether the animals would emerge from the depths of the forests, where they had retired.

"Environmentalists were concerned by the fact that a lot of tiger cubs have recently been born in the park while some more tigresses are to give birth soon. Such disturbance can cause distress to expecting tigresses in search of secluded spots to give birth,' says P Kumar, a zoologist and avid wildlife photographer from New Delhi.

Moreover, park officials felt that the Rs 8 crores being spent on improving the roads could have been better utilised for more important eco-development work. Nevertheless, the big cats did not disappoint the visiting dignitaries.