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  Hunting by British in India
Tiger hunting by English aristocrats in British India

A Shikar party in Mandalay, Burma, soon after the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1886 when Burma was annexed to British India.During the feudal and colonial epoch on the Indian continent, hunting was a true 'regal sport' in the numerous princely states, as many (Maha)rajas, Nawabs, as well as British officers maintained a whole corps of shikaris, who were native professional hunters. They would be headed by a master of the hunt, who might be styled Mir-shikar. Often these were recruited from the normally low-ranking local tribes because of their traditional knowledge of environment and hunting techniques. Big game, such as Bengal tigers, might be hunted from the back of an elephant.

Indian social norms are generally antagonistic to hunting, while a few sects like the Bishnoi lay special emphasis on the conservation of particular species like the antelope. India's Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 bans the killing of all wild animals. However, the Chief Wildlife Warden may, if he is satisfied that any wild animal from a specified list has become dangerous to human life or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, permit any person to hunt such animal. In such a case, the body of any wild animal killed or wounded becomes government property

In the 19th century, southern and central European sport hunters often pursued game only for a trophy, usually the head or pelt of an animal, which was then displayed as a sign of prowess. The rest of the animal was typically discarded. Some cultures, however, disapprove of such waste. In Nordic countries, hunting for trophies was -- and still is -- frowned upon. Hunting in North America in the 19th century was done primarily as a way to supplement food supplies, although it is now undertaken mainly for sport. The safari method of hunting was a development of sport hunting that saw elaborate travel in Africa, India and other places in pursuit of trophies. In modern times, trophy hunting persists and is a significant industry in some areas.

Tiger hunting by English aristocrats in British India from Rajesh Chopra



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