Kailash Sankhala, widely known as Tiger Man, was the first conservationist who raised a voice in favor of protecting the tiger as early as 1956. He spearheaded the crusade and succeeded in helping rescue the species from the brink of extinction in an age when hunting tigers was practiced.
Kailash Sankhala carried through this challenging mission with untiring energy and dedication, even at the risk of his professional career and death threats. Kailash Sankhala conducted an extensive study on tigers under the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship during a time when the tiger population was dwindling at an alarming rate due to poaching and hunting. His research would later lead him to launch Project Tiger in 1973.
Prior to serving Project Tiger as Founding Director, Kailash Sankhala was the Director of Delhi Zoological Park and Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan. He was a distinguished naturalist and a forest officer, who played a key role in establishing various national parks in India. Kailash Sankhala was known the world over as an authority on tigers, and has written over half a dozen books on the subject. He also has authored books on National Parks and Indian wildlife, and has written a number of scientific and popular science articles.
Kailash Sankhala was an inspiration to many, encouraging everyone to take on the conservation cause. He pushed for arming forest officers with cameras instead of guns. He won many awards, including the National Honour of Padamshri in 1992.
he established the Tiger Trust to continue his commitment to tiger conservation.
He died on August 15, 1994 in Jaipur.
In honor of Kailash Sankhala's inspiration for work in the field of conservation, the Government of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Wildlife have constituted a Kailash Sankhala Fellowship for conservation efforts on behalf of Indian animals. The Fellowship consists of work for two years and is awarded once every two years. The Government of Rajasthan, Ministry of Forest, has announced:
That a National Park is to be named in honor of Kailash Sankhala;
· The Nature Interpretation Centre at Sariska National Park is to be named in honor ofKailash Sankhala; and
· The Kailash Sankhala Award - a State award given for work in the field of Wildlife Conservation.
The city of Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan has a street bearing his name: "Kailash Sankhala Marg."
The Godwan Society (Desert Wildlife Conservation Society) of Jodhpur has established a Kailash Sankhala Desert Conservation Award.
The Nature Club of Rajasthan, Jaipur, has announced a Kailash Sankhala Wildlife Conservation Award.
Annual Kailash Sankhala Memorial Lecture is being organized by the Godwan Society of Jodhpur, Nature Club of Rajasthan at Jaipur, Tiger Trust and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) at Delhi.