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Big B in ‘close company’ of ‘big cat’ in Mumbai

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Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who has been appointed Maharashtra’s ‘Tiger Ambassador’, says his vehicle was chased by a tiger in Mumbai for four kms inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park here.

Amitabh was on a jungle safari in the national park in Borivali East on Tuesday, accompanied by several ministers and politicians. During the trip, one tiger followed the safari bus.

The 72-year-old posted some of the photographs of the tiger on Twitter.
“Chased by a tiger in the heart of Mumbai for 4 kms… what an experience… and for those thinking it was some kind of a joke – the tiger chase,” the “Piku” actor tweeted along with photo evidence.

“In close company of the Big Cat… And this on a road in the heart of the city,” he added. Amitabh also shared his thoughts about the campaign for tiger conservation on his blog.

He wrote: “Killing the animal for medicinal purposes, especially for the south eastern countries was rampant. Rampant too for its skin, which adorns many a drawing room of the affluent… a mark of aristocracy, of superior gaming acumen, a mark of being among the few.”

He also stated that at the turn of the 19th century into the 20th, India had 40,000 tigers, but by 2008 the number was reduced to 1,411.

“With effort now, the numbers have increased to 2,226 in the country and to about 199 in Maharashtra, which incidentally has the largest tiger population in the entire country,” he added.

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The Big B also shared how “many a time leopards have paid us a visit on our sets or our shootings” at the Film City in Goregaon here.

“Many have been trapped and put back into the forest, if they were to wander beyond, but yes… they do stroll around a bit to catch a glimpse of the stars that work within,” he said, adding that it was his first visit to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

“This has been a revelation. 45 years in the city and never seen the beauty of these natural habitats that abound within the heart of the city.”