Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well, 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' it ain't, for sure. It is nice to see the shed at this park painted with pictures of wildlife. For a change, the painting is pretty good: in fact much, much better than what one has been led to expect from artists working on a government commission. Over the past few years, Chennai's parks have become less known as hangouts for riff-raff and are being more used by average citizens on a regular basis. And I think it is really a good idea to have such pictures of wildlife near the parks, because the message is going out to an audience that is reasonably receptive. And with parks becoming more popular, that audience will only grow.

That's a good thing for wildlife in general, of humans becoming more sensitive to their needs. With so much of threat to their natural habitats, it is a conservation challenge; at least the animals shown here are not so endangered that conservationists have to resort to borderline methods to shore up the genetic pools. None of these animals is native to Chennai; but if you travel out the Vandalur zoo, you can see at least the lion, deer and kangaroo. I'm not sure about the rhino, but I'm certain that the giant panda hasn't been anywhere close to the city.

But then, that's what I used to think about ostriches, until I saw close to a hundred of them near Chennai!

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