Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Queen Elizabeth's hunting trip to Nepal

The following article is not my own writing but a compilation.

Am I a pessimist or is is just me who:
1) either comes across these SAD SAD :cry: :cry: pieces of news
2)or makes me cry/depressed/angry/mad/disillusioned/disgusted?

Below is the article from time magazine about Queen Elizabeth's hunting trip to Nepal. If memory serves me right, this was in 1962 (check reference to going to nepal after India).

I dont want to go on about what went on in Sawai Madhopur (Now Ranthambore national Park) so here is the link to the article.

Since this is an archive, the paragraphs and hedings are skewed so I am repairing them; also the link is in 2 pages hence i am "editing" the article and pasting it below.

Also pasting links to pics from the hunt. Please note that these pics werent a part of the article but I have searched them on the internet on the site(s). The ones below are from Life magazine (copyrights bought by google).

Hope you enjoy (NOT) the article:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 26,00.html

Nepal: Hapless Hunting

In the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, where man-eating tigers kill scores of villagers a year, the shikar (tiger hunt) is a popular and practical pastime. The mark of a man is his hunting prowess, and the Nepalese still fondly recall the bloody 1911 visit of Britain's King George V, who carted away the carcasses of 39 tigers, 18 rhinos and four bears-plus one unfortunate leopard, run over by the royal mail van. Last week another royal Briton, Queen Elizabeth II, flew into Katmandu from India, and for George's granddaughter, impoverished Nepal (per capita income estimated at $70 cash a year) planned the most elaborate one-day shikar in its history. 

Buckets of Bugs: 

Tribesmen corralled 305 trained hunting elephants, and Nepalese troops cleared a campsite in the dense Meghavli jungle. To get rid of insects and snakes, they stripped six inches of soil off a 2-sq.-mi. area, replaced it with soft turf and a specially constructed water sprinkling system. Buckets of bugs were carried away, and the entire site was sprayed with DDT. Into the Queen's two-bedroom tent went a white-lacquered zinc bathtub, hot-water plumbing, and a flush toilet-equipped with a red velvet seat cover for comfort in the early-morning chill. 





An airstrip was constructed; access roads from Katmandu, 160 miles away, were widened and improved. In high grass four miles from camp, workmen set up a "hunting ring," surrounded by a 5-ft. fence of white cloth and stocked with a smallish 8-ft. 8-in. tigress flushed from the jungle the day before. 

Perched atop placid howdah elephants and shaded by parasols, the royal guests lounged lazily in the hot jungle sun. Bar elephants circulated busily; from their backs, servants dispensed whisky, beer, martinis and gin-and-orange. Only the impatient tiger was uncomfortable. Queen Elizabeth refused to handle a gun, confined her shooting to a 16-mm. movie camera. The honor of being the "invited gun" was to have gone to Prince Philip, who during the royal family's tour of India and Pakistan has potted hundreds of duck and partridge, plus one sizable tiger, has been dubbed "the grim reaper" by the press.

Out of Action:

But Philip was out of action with a "whitlow infection" (more commonly known as a boil) on his trigger finger. Accordingly, Nepal's King Mahendra passed the honor to Britain's Foreign Secretary, Lord Home. Eight times elephants goaded the snarling tigress into the open "firing zone." Three times Lord Home shot. He missed all three. 

Red-faced, Home politely asked for help from Rear Admiral Christopher Bonham Carter, Philip's treasurer, and Sir Michael Adeane, Elizabeth's secretary. Firing simultaneously, Bonham Carter and Adeane dropped the tiger in its tracks-while Home missed once more. Said Lord Home: "I only wish Prince Philip could have done the shooting. I've never ridden an elephant before, never seen a tiger outside the zoo. I thought I'd never hit the thing in a hundred years the way it was rushing backwards and forwards." 


Exotic Menu:

The ordeal over, Elizabeth and Philip recessed for lunch along the Narayani River. The exotic menu: black partridge, florican crane, wild boar shashlik, shredded venison curry. Then they went after bigger game: a female rhinoceros, spotted plodding through the jungle, calf in tow. Prized by poachers (who grind the horns into a powder that is valued as an alleged aphrodisiac), the one-horned rhino has almost disappeared from Nepal. But Marksman Home was not to be denied. With the help again of Bonham Carter and Adeane, he quickly dispatched the lumbering beast, left its calf to fend for itself in the jungle. 

Predictably, animal-loving Britons declared themselves shocked. Even the independent Church of England weekly, the Church Times, clucked: "Apart from the enormous expense of this entertainment in a country w?here poverty is rife, there does seem something quite unnecessary in involving Her Majesty in so decadent an occasion." Clutching her camera, the Queen told Nepal's Mahendra: "This was one of the most exciting days of my life." Happiest of all was Huntsman Home with his rhino. Said he: "I am having the horn and the front feet. Sir Michael is having the back end. I am not certain what I shall do with the feet-probably make them into wastepaper baskets."

:evil: :shock: :( :cry:

The life magzine laments: 

"There were 80 Rhinos.... now there are just 79"

I say make that 78 after the motherless calf dies.

1 comment:

  1. The modus operandi was to bring a tiger/tigers in an enclosure using shikar elephants. A white cloth was placed all around and that acted as a deterent for the animals to escape. The cloth would confuse the big cat and they would stay inside the "enclosure". When the hunters came the place was cleared of all bush and trees using shikar elephant who would trample down everything which came in front. As many as a 100 to more than 300 elephants would be used in a single hunt. Some elephants came from as far away as Thailand. With a clear view in front the Shikaris (safely possitioned on top of the elephants) waited for the tiger to be driven outinto the open by the Hanka elephants. The tiger had no chance of escape and was dispatched with much ease.