Lion can’t count. The key method to the baiting method of hunting them. so
Many people walk through the cat’s territory leading a herd of sheeps and cows, then stop in a clearing .when they depart they leave the animals tied to a tree. What the lion does not know is that two of hunters have stayed behind and are hiding on a tree platform, guns ready .The big cat jumps for its easy meal and boom –boom becomes a target
Jackman stayed behind on the platform with his client a nobleman’s man mistress from England .The two huddled against the winter evening in Gujarat gir forest, waiting for any sign of motion. Rob jack man whispered one last moment. “Don’t shoot until I tell you “
IT was 1970, and for 17 yrs jack man had been the only professional hunter in Gujarat. He had left his job on a Gujarat private company in India as a general manger and walked 600 kms to Gujarat ,where he noticed country first ever hunting concession on a beautiful 25,000 hectare park called the green grass plains .
He was young ,strong and determined .He brought down his big game animal a wild boar that had been creating a real mess in the villages not with a shot gun but with a sharp sword. There is no room in a hunter for been sick and disappointed for his hunt. Yet despite his bravery .Jack man had a soft spot in his heart waiting to reveal itself.
Small things are so awe inspiring as a lion in the act of killing .It happens with greater ferocity than any one may imagine .The lion is an imperceptible blur as it seizes the throat of its prey which is why Jackman told his friend not to fire soon.
But the gun was fired .The lion roared jump back into the grass and vanished
Jack man descended the tree platform with a flashlight.He held his gun out in front of him loaded with the safety off and walked towards where the lion had disappeared.
He shone his light on the grass and saw frothy blood a lung shot. The lion was injured and at large.Jackman walked back to the platform. You have wounded it Jackman said. Are we going to track it his friend asked.
Not tonight my friend. .you never track a wounded animal in the dark . we will go back to camp and I’ll come after it in the early morning . He hated to think of the lion suffering out there with a bullet in its lung. A lion did not deserve to die that way.
Jackman did not know it then, but his hunting days were numbered .He had been hearing more and more about animal conservation and always had a deep respect for nature wild things. The lion, for instance, try to imagine a more refined killing machine or the boar ugly and ungainly ,but with an un matched courage .Even his birds won his admiration.
When he thought about it ,he was tired of seeing animals killed by wealthy people to impress their friends and preserve their animals head as trophies.
Before light, Jackman and his gun bearer, Romeo set out for the clearing where the lion had been shot. It was still misty and cold ,the first pale sun teasing at the edge of the sky. They tracked the blood trail to a grassy patch, where Jackman saw a faint white puff. It was the lion breath. He could not make out the animal form, lying flat on the cold earth. He aimed his gun and fired shooting the lion through the neck.
Then with his weapon ready he edged his way closer . Romeo followed him. Jackman lowered the gun to the animals spine. The lion had stopped breathing .He moved the gun all over his body to its head .It is alive romeo told. Jackman was not sure. He decided to check by brushing the lion eye with the gun barrel. Then he saw what romeo was hissing about. The lions eyes were a pair of jewels more shining and colourful than anything . Jackman had seen before. The lovely morning sunshine played at the lion face. Increasing the brilliance of two incredible orbs. A gift of nature that stopped the hunters breath. Before he could recognize their beauty the eyes began to change .The brilliance began to fade driven out by a dull haze.
In that moment , Jackman knew he had seen what he had managed to avoid in 17 years of killing . He had watched life disappear displaced by the awful muted tones of death. That day Jackman saw the reality of his life work up close Sickened by the revelation he decided to put way his gun and devote himself to conservation .He converted the park where he had hunted into a animal preserve that today is more than three times its original size. He also started a small non -profit organization called the International wild life conservation board which keeps Jackman park functioning and free of poachers. And in the 1972 with urging from Jackman the government of India placed serious restrictions on hunting of animals.
Today Jackman 75 divide his time between the preserve in India Gujarat Gir forest and his summer home in Scotland .His next project is building a conservation centre to take care off injured animals and to set up a veterinary team of doctors and scientists . And a wonderful set up hi-tech park to attract tourists from all over the World . Recently he had lunch with the safari agent who used him clients .Do you even have hunters anymore Jackman asked .
He was not surprised that the agents answer was no. Jackman sat back in his chair and thought about how far things had come .It is now no longer humans but rather the lions of Gujarat Gir forest ,he realized who are the lands great hunter.