When you travel through India and see the Beautiful and Majestic Palaces and Forts you will also see countless “Stuffed Animals” which were heartlessly Hunted to decorate these Royal abodes.
Many species like the Asiatic Cheetah ( Acinonyx jubatus ventaticus) have been driven to extinction in India, whereas some species like Tigers are now restricted to Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries.
Stuffed Heads of Animals are mounted onto wooden boards ,as is the Head of the Gaur ( English) , Bos gaurus ( Scientific Name) in the picture below, and are called “TROPHIES”.
These “Trophies” are then proudly displayed in the abodes of esrtwhile Maharajas and Kings symbolizing the valour of their Forefathers.
The Featured Photograph has Mounted Heads of the Graceful and Majestic Deer “Bara Singhas” ( that with 12 horns) , Swamp Deer ( English), Rucervus duvaucelli ( Scientific Name) which is now constricted to the Terrai region ( Dudhwa Wildlife sanctuary) , a spot in Central India( Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary) and Assam( Kazhiranga ) . This Unique Deer once roamed across the entire Indian Subcontinent but is now extinct in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Indian or Asiatic Lion ( English). Panthera leo persica ( Scientific name) can today be found ONLY in the Gir Sanctuary in Gujarat, India. The Indian Lion is still Endangered and was on the verge of Extinction.
This Specimen is now in a Glass Box marked Number 26 and must survive on Grass.
The River Monster , the Giant Devil Catfish (English), Goonch Fish, Bagarius yarrelli ( Scientific Name) also inhabits the fast flowing and deep waters of the Chambal River .
A Stuffed Indian Leopard ( Panthera pardus fusca) can be seen in the background in the picture below.
Fortunately both are neither Endangered or Extinct.
While Smoking did not Kill the Gharial ( English) , Gavialis gangeticus ( Scientific Name) in the picture below, hunting for “Trophies” surely has driven them to be Critically Endangered.
The Gharial is a unique fish eating crocodile which is Native to India and now found in the Wild in the Chambal River. ( please checkout earlier posts titled CURSED YET ENCHANTED RIVER , OVER THE CLIFF, EGYPTIAN ROOST and THE GREAT CANYON OF INDIA)
If you are Enchanted by Trophies , skip going on Safaris as you may not find what you seek in Forests.