Wildlife conservationist Billy Arjan Singh passes away
PTI Saturday, January 2, 2010 19:43 IST Email
Mumbai: Wildlife conserationist and author Billy Arjan Singh died at his home ‘Tiger Haven’ in the vicinity of the famous Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh last night, according his family sources. He was 94.
Billy had been ailing for some time, largely on account of the infirmities of old age at his home, about 250 km from Lucknow.
“Body-builder, reformed hunter, foster-father to an infamous tiger, or a thorn in the side of the Uttar Pradesh forest department… how would you like to be remembered? Bittu Sahgal, editor Santuary magazine and a tiger conservationist, had asked while interviewing him.
To that the tiger defender had replied, “I want simply to be remembered as Arjan Singh, a man who loved tigers and fought to keep them alive and safe from humans.”
Closely related to the Kapurthala family, Billy had settled down several decades ago in his farm, almost in the middle of a thick forest in Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh along the Indo-Nepal border.
It was entirely his efforts that this forest was later declared as Dudhwa National Park, which eventually emerged as North India’s second largest tiger reserve, after the world famous Corbett National Park.