Conservationist "Billy" Arjan Singh passes away

Billy Arjan Singh. Photo courtesy Anshuman Atroley.
Billy Arjan Singh. Photo courtesy Anshuman Atroley.

Well-known conservationist "Billy" Arjan Singh, a living legend whom many regarded as the godfather of the "Save the Tiger" campaign in India, died last night at Pallia in Uttar Pradesh of problems related to old age. He was 92.

The end came at a hospital in Pallia near the famed Dudhwa National Park, where he had lived for more than five decades.

Sources in the Dudhwa National Park told NetIndian over the telephone from Pallia that the funeral would be held tomorrow.

Born in Gorakhpur on August 15, 1917, Billy had worked for more than five decades to save and protect India's endangered tigers. He was instrumental in establishing the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in 1988. He had christened the corner of Dudhwa that he made his home as "Tiger Haven".

Billy used to be a hunter but gave up shooting in 1960 and actively campaigned against sport hunting after that. His efforts to return a tigress, Tara, to the wild in Dudhwa created a controversy that isolated him from fellow-conservationists for many years.

In 2006, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan and in February, 2005, he was presented the J Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Award, a global honour in recognition of his outstanding contribution to international conservation. He had authored several popular books on wildlife.


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