Wildlife is the most exciting and adventurous place to be in and one should never miss the opportunity to experience such an adventurous journey if it ever comes your way. Speaking from personal experience, the wild is very attractive, it draws a person towards its magnificence, and if you are a lover of the wild, you are always drawn towards the jungles, rivers, mountains, valleys, and caves, but more importantly, the wild animals. One such person who has been drawn towards the wildlife with such passion is Akshay. He is a Chief Naturalist at the Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge in Tadoba, Maharashtra which is a Tiger Reserve. Akshay is a Molecular Biologist by education, he did his masters in Biotechnology and was working as a Biotechnological Scientist for ten years. To pursue his childhood passion for the adventurous journey in the wildlife, Akshay quit his corporate job and focused on becoming a Naturalist.
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Biotech scientist turned Naturalist, Akshay says: “Appreciate macro world as well as the micro world.”
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Posted by Platocast on Tuesday, December 8, 2020
While speaking to Platocast about his journey towards becoming a wildlife Naturalist, Akshay said: “As a kid, I was very much inclined towards wildlife, thanks to my parents, they would take us to national parks and particularly we used to spend weekends in the Mysore Zoo and the Bannerghatta Zoo also a lot of bird parks and wildlife reserves as well,” he said.
That particular bug of being in the wildlife always stayed with Akshay as he was growing up. He started getting involved in the forest department of Karnataka in Tiger estimation, elephant census, and bird surveys. Akshay was also an active volunteer for the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. Rescuing urban wildlife animals like snakes, birds, and mongoose and rehabilitate them. Looking into such opportunities to achieve something that Akshay was passionate about, he left his corporate job in 2015 and started working as a naturalist.
Achievements as a Naturalist:
“If you ask me what my biggest achievement is, I would say particularly, my interaction with the kids, the next generation conservationists, and during these interactions when I explain them the minute things and they show interest and ask questions, and when I answer to those question, I am creating a natural award to myself and that is what I feel my biggest achievement is, from being a common man to becoming someone who educates and inspires the next generation to walk on the same path is the best achievement.”
Apart from these Akshay shot couple of pictures where a famous tiger from Tadoba called Maya was carrying a month-old cub in her mouth, which gained a lot of attention and became famous. And then a video which Akshay recorded which became viral on YouTube was the fight between a Tiger and a Sloth Bear, which was extremely rare and no one had recorded a clear video of such a fight, which Akshay was able to document for 30 minutes. The video had around 60 to 70 million views on YouTube, it was further published in 250 other digital media platforms across the world, and also The National Geographic, Discovery, and Animal Planet published Akshay’s videos as well.
The need of the hour…
“The need of the hour towards mother nature is to stop deforestation and aim towards planting more trees and grow the forest. Water conservation is extremely important, everybody practicing ‘rainwater harvesting’ is very important also to minimize the usage of plastic which stands as an imminent threat to the world and its natural habitat. I think these are the important measures we need to follow to protect our mother nature,” Akshay said.
Appreciate the macro world, as well as the micro world, is Akshay’s message. Which is very true. To be able to connect and develop a bond with nature, one should always wander outdoors. There are many such activities you can do outdoors and feel fresh and excited about your adventurous experience. There are things which you will start noticing from having a 360-degree awareness and that is very exciting.
“In today’s date, India is doing great work in the production of the Wildlife. We have great policies thanks to those in charge who are fantastic, the NGO’s and people are responding in a very positive way. For people, I would always say that enjoy your time in nature, be a traveler, and don’t just be a tourist. Know the place where you are going, read about, make sure you reduce your carbon footprint, and enjoy your time in the wild.”