Hunter and Conservationist Ziaur Rahman (1957 - 2002)
Indian Hunter and Conservationist... Ziaur Rahman (1957 - 2002)
Well-known hunter and wildlife expert, popularly known as Jim Corbett of Assam, Ziaur Rahman.
Regarded as one of the greatest tiger-trappers of the post-Corbett era, Ziaur Rahman, trapped as many as 65 tigers and gunned down over 40 others in a span of about 50 years.
Rahman started his hunting career at the early age of 15, and from 1957 to 2002 he killed as many as 40 man-eaters that had killed nearly 200 people. He trapped the first man-eater at the young age of 15 by just a bow and arrows, and that too by offering himself as a bait.
Ziaur Rahman narrated his first encounter with tiger. He recollected, when I was a kid, a tiger used to eat our goats in our village. I was very shocked and depressed. I decided to kill that tiger and made a bamboo bow and arrows to hunt that tiger. And then, I spent one night awake to kill that tiger. I attacked the tiger with several arrows. After 20 days, I killed as many as three tigers. Rahman even captured a leopard alive with a blanket in 2002.
The fame and proficiency of Rahman in trapping tigers had taken him across the country. Many states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Bengal frequently invited him whenever the need arose to trap a tiger that had turned a man-eater or had strayed into human habitations. In 1991 Rahman was invited by the Madhya Pradesh government to hunt down two man-eaters. After 45 days of hide and seek he trapped the two tigers. The Madhya Pradesh government offered Rs 10,000 as a reward to Rahman.
Rahman narrated the events in one of his interviews, in 1991, I was invited by the Madhya Pradesh Government to hunt two man-eaters which killed and attacked many people, specially women. The tigers targeted the women because they used to faint in front of the man-eaters. The Madhya Pradesh government spent more than Rs 20 lakh for killing the tigers, but failed. After 45 days of hide and seek game, I captured two tigers Mayadevi and Rupak, and a leopard. The Government awarded me with a cash prize of Rs 10,000.
Rahman, besides being a hunter, was also an avid conservationist. Rahman said that as his admiration for tigers and leopards grew, he resolved never to shoot them unless they turned man-eater or started attacking cattle. He was deeply concerned of the steady decline in the number of tigers in India. He held the opinion that food crisis and poachers are main reasons for the gradual decline in the number of tigers in India.
Rahman was a conservative of the rare kind. He always tried to trap a tiger alive even it turned a man-eater, and resorted to killing it only when there was no way out.