t takes five to seven days and costs Rs 1,299 for an Indian to get a tourist visa for Bangladesh. But if you don’t have the money or you’re in a big hurry, there is another option: wear a tiger costume.
Tigers have no trouble crossing the border, as Indian Forestry Services officer Parveen Kaswan noted recently when he shared a photo of a tiger that had crossed the border in the Sundarbans.
“This tiger covered 100 km and reached Bangladesh from India. Without visa though. Crossed creeks, islands & ocean,” he tweeted.
Forestry officials and wildlife experts in West Bengal had been monitoring the tiger since late December. That’s when they captured the tiger in the Sunderban Tiger Reserve, fitted it with a radio collar, and released it, hoping to study its movements and interactions with humans. They wanted to answer questions such as: How far does a tiger travel in a day? Does it follow a particular path? Does it prefer Uber or Ola?
Using satellite data, officials were able to monitor the tiger as it travelled 100 km in four months, a journey that included crossing several rivers and three islands. No ride-hailing services were involved, as far as officials could tell.
“After initial movements for a few days on the Indian side, it started venturing into the Talpatti island in Bangladesh Sunderbans and crossed rivers such as Choto, Harikhali, Boro Harikhali and even the Raimangal,” West Bengal’s chief wildlife warden VK Yadav told Times of India.
He added that the tiger may have originally travelled from Bangladesh to India. That may explain why it was able to enter Bangladesh without a visa.
Officials were able to track the tiger only until May 11. The radio collar suddenly stopped producing signals. The tiger was last tracked on Talpatti island in Bangladesh.
According to Yadav, the radio collar has a mortality sensor. It sends a special signal if the tiger has died. Yadav believes that the tiger is safe and that the collar merely slipped off its neck. But perhaps a human was involved. Perhaps the tiger came across a young woman, unbeknownst to forestry officials.
Woman: “Help! Help! Someone save me!”
Tiger: “Don’t worry—I am not a man-eater.”
Woman: “But are you a woman-eater?”
Tiger: “No, not yet.”
Woman: “Not yet? Help! Help! Someone save me!”
Tiger: “Stop screaming. I have never tried a woman before. What do you taste like?”
Woman: “Horrible. Worse than anything you’ve ever tasted.”
Tiger: “Worse than fish curry?”
Woman: “You’ve tried fish curry?”
Tiger: “Yes, I visited a village once and ate some fish curry. It was in a pot outside a hut. It almost killed me.”
Woman: “I love fish curry. My stomach is full of fish curry. In fact, my whole body is full of fish curry.”
Tiger: “Really? It’s a good thing I didn’t plan to eat you. But can you come a little closer please?”
Woman: “A little closer? Help! Help! Someone save me!”
Tiger: “Stop screaming. I just want you to take this collar off me. Some other humans put it on me. They’re trying to track me. If I do something bad, they’ll know about it. I have no privacy anymore. Do you know what that’s like?”
Woman: “Yes, I have Facebook and Google. They’re always tracking me.”
Tiger: “I hate Google. I tried to google myself once and they had the wrong picture. I’m a Bengal tiger and they had a picture of an Indochinese tiger.”
Woman: “They should know better. The CEO of Google is Sundar Pichai. He’s from India.”
Tiger: “Do you know where he lives? I’d like to pay him a visit.”
Woman: “He lives in the United States now. You’ll need a visa.”
Tiger: “I’m a tiger. No visas needed.”