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A Wild Memory

  • Published at 11:03 am December 28th, 2018
Leopard
Photo: Firoz Al Sabah

A personal account

I have been dreaming of capturing a photo of a tiger in Panchagarh. When I finally got the snap, I kept thinking about the time when I went there for this photo but couldn’t. 

Three years ago, I rushed to Salbahan, Tentulia with my friend Sourav after hearing the news of a roaming leopard in nearby areas. After speaking to the local indigenous people it seemed the information was correct.

One person said he saw the leopard at dawn when he went out for the call of nature. Another said they often encountered leopards in Bangladesh’s jungle. Perhaps they cross the border and come over from the adjacent Indian side of the jungles. 

Coming back, I was enthralled at the prospect of getting the dream shot. 

To complete all the necessary preparations, the next two days vanished away so fast. The maneuvers needed for wildlife photography are indeed labourious. 

Four days went by without a glimpse of the creature.  

As a student, I relied on my parents for my finances. “You think there are tigers in the country?” my father told me sarcastically on phone. “Come back right away,” he ordered angrily, refusing to send me more money. 

As I was pondering about my options, my phone buzzed. Someone sent me money on bKash. It was my dad. I was relieved. I could stay for two more days. 

Two more days went by and there were only wild rabbits, foxes, and birds that showed any willingness for a photo shoot. 

Disheartened, I got out of the jungle. As I came back, my contact there called me on phone and said the leopard just walked by the out front gate. 

Three years later, I got the shot after a similar photo shoot mission. Despite his apparent reluctance, my father respected my quirky dream. Now when I got the photo, by Baba is no longer with me. But I think he knew I would one day.