This website is about art, travel, cats and lots of other stuff. From today’s day and from yonder years…
Our lives are like a suitcase filled with stories and experiences. My husband and I currently live in beautiful Canada, in the large province of Ontario. We are originally from The Netherlands and Belgium, and after years of traveling we have found a home on the North American continent. For us, a home would not be a home without cats; many of our feline friends have traveled the world with us. A lot of pages on this website are dedicated to many of them. But do keep checking back to read new stories about my art and my adventures all over the globe and do let us know what you think – we love reading your feedback! The big top menu will help you navigate all there is on this website….
The latest art news…
June 23 – August 28, 2022:
My art at Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre – Oakville
I am happy to announce that I have 2 artworks in the upcoming ‘Friends of Joshua’ art show in Oakville The show runs from June 23rd 2022 – August 28th 2022, so plenty of time for those who are interested to see my awork and that of many others. This is always a colourful and varied exhibition that is worth a visit. Read more about my 2 entries on the blog.
Read my Artist’s Blog…
- I present to you: Killer ‘T24’, a.k.a. Ustad
Since 2010, this handsome tiger named ‘Ustad’ a.k.a. T24, has killed several villagers and park managers in northern India. He is no longer living in the wild, but inhabits the Sajjangarh zoo in Udaipur, India. I found him incredibly inspiring to paint. Ustad is not your regular tiger, if there ever was such a thing…
Ustad’s story is striking, and saddening at the same time. Ustad is an honorary title that was given to him by his ‘fans’, and there were many. Tigers are usually shy of humans and avoid confrontation with them unless harmed but, the case of T24 was a bit different. He lived in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and would drag a prey to the highway to eat it in public view and showed little fear of people. He was admired and photographed by many who appreciated his ferocious beauty. Over the years, he was said to become more aggressive towards people. He was the main suspect in the violent deaths of 2 villagers and 2 park rangers. The last killing happened in 2015 and this one ultimately led to his somewhat sudden move to the Sajjangarh zoo in Udaipur, India. The move was and to this day remains controversial and surrounded by protests, both from policitians and from the local communities.
According to conservationists Dharmendra Khandal and Raza Tehsin, the ever changing behaviour of Ustad had a lot to do with human interference. He was frequently tranquilized and confined to a cage; sometimes this was for treatment of an injury, another time it was to tackle digestive issues and yet another time to put a radio collar on him. All of this is suspected to have taken a toll on his natural behaviour. The transfer of 8 tigers from his clan to other wildlife reserves, disturbing his family structure in the early years of his life, was also thought to contribute to his changing behaviour towards humans.
Relocation to a zoo
There were many calls to relocate Ustad to a secluded location before he could make another human kill. However, branding a tiger as a man-eater was controversial and against the regulations of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and forest authorities. Therefore, Ustad was initially allowed to move about unrestricted in the forest reserve. But his last killing resulted in a sudden move to Udaipar, where he was confined to a natural but small enclosure of less than a hectare – in contrast to the 5000 hectare of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve where he spent his earlier life as the ‘King of Jungle’.
This raised a lot of discontent and outrage amongst wildlife experts and photographers. Many of them had visited Ranthambore just to get a glimpse of him. According to Ustad’s supporters, the killings were accidents. Ustad never ventured out of his territory, seeking people to kill, neither had he ever attempted to kill any of the thousands of people traveling the road to a nearby well-known temple. Even the former Environment Minister of Rajastha stood firmly in supporting the tiger with pictures of him walking calmly past a group of village women carrying water.
There were many protests and huge demonstrations, especially on social media channels, to promote the return of Ustad to his original grounds. International broadcast networks covered his story, which brought him even more fame than before. There is currently still a committee pondering T24’s rehabilitation. Activists continue to fight for the case legally. They claim that:
“It’s high time to realise the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in the ecosystem. Whether Ustad was a man-eater or not, if we do not mend our ways of poaching and interrupting the territories of these wild creatures, it may not be long before another tiger makes the headlines for killing a man. The Indian wildlife reserve authorities should come forward with stringent plans of minimising human interference in the core forest areas.“
“Tigers have lost over 93% of their territory to human developments and concrete jungles. Conserving tigers today, is far more important than promoting wildlife tourism. It is only with the joint effort of people and wildlife authorities that we can bring about an ecological balance and see the population of tigers grow in India.“
Besides being the only tiger to have been featured on India Today, he caught the attention of Delhi High Court, Jaipur High Court & Supreme Court of India. He continues to stay in Sajjangarh Zoo in Udaipur for now.
- I present to you: Killer ‘T24’, a.k.a. Ustad
- New monthly exhibition in ‘The People’s Gallery’, Waterloo, Ontario
- Busy time… summer course…
- First dive… the baby seal under the ice
- Plein-air painting with friends