the very first explore
One thing that always amazed Sir Winslow was the interesting people he would meet on his travels. Sometimes it was the fellow traveler like himself on an adventure. Sometimes it was the nobility of the country where he was exploring. Quite often it was just the common folk he met along the way. They would share an experience or help with finding a creature and a lifelong bond was formed.
While he was a professor at Oxford, Sir Winslow decided that in order to do proper research he needed to be out in the field where his subject was living. His subject at the time happened to be Bengal tigers. So off he went to India to count their stripes.
Some things to know about tigers: they are solitary creatures. It is very rare for them to be seen in a pack unless it is a moma and her babies. When they are together it is called a “streak” or an “ambush”.This mostly happens in captivity or when they are very young. Tiger cubs leave their mother when they are around 2 years of age.
The tiger is the biggest species in the cat family and can weigh as much as 660 pounds. Sir Winslow did not approach this animal without caution. He had started his trek from Bombay in 1901 at the young age of 26, but wisely employed some locals to help with the tracking. They had just set up camp and were settling in for the night when he heard a curious noise.
“Scritch, Scratch THUMP” “Scritch, Scratch THUMP” Looking out the tent flap, he spotted a tiger. A very small tiger who kept bumping into things. Now, knowing that the mother was close at hand, the guide said to come back in the tent and he would take care of the situation. He took his rifle and started to look around. However no mother appeared. Very strange! Going further out, still no mother tiger was to be found. The guide said it was very unusual for a cub to be on it’s own and something must have happened. The group decided to tie up the cub until they could figure out what had happened.
Early the next morning they all set out to find the mother. Going just a few miles into the jungle they sadly found her body and another cub. There was no indication of what had happened to her or the cub. Heading back to camp, Sir Winslow decided to take the cub back to England with him and raise it at Windy Willows Estate.
And that dear friend is how Sir Winslow’s Zoo was born!