The Kate Perry and Russell Brand wedding took place at a resort near Ranthambore National Park this past weekend. An environmental activist has filed a complaint against the couple, guests and hotel officials that they violated green laws when in a forested area where wild tigers roam.
Akhshay Sharma, who filed the complaint, asserted that the guests “smoked, consumed liquor, carried weapons, disturbed endangered animals, changed route from No. 2 to No. 3 without permission, alighted from the vehicle (Gypsy), forced people (paparazzi) to alight from their vehicle and even snatched the keys of their vehicle in the park where tiger movement is quite normal.” (Source: Bollypatricka.com)
In addition it was reported the wedding party played loud music past midnight, which may be typical for a weather, but is nevertheless disruptive to a wild animal park. It was reported that the loud noise actually drew the attention of a tiger known to have eaten humans: “The male tiger, which already killed three people in the last two years, gate crashed their wedding area. The noise and lights of the wedding attracted the male predator at the wedding venue.” (Source: OneIndia.in)
The Times of India wrote an article about the wedding, saying that such celebrity events at or near nature preserves can raise awareness in society about endangered animals, while bringing in tourist revenues for local businesses. While this may be true, there is an obvious downside to the picture if tourists do not respect necessary rules, or laws intended to protect local wildlife. As evidence of tourism’s benefits The Times of India cites Russell Brand adopted a female Bengal tiger for Katy Perry – not for her to own but to pay for the animal’s welfare and park maintenance.
However, celebrity status and wealth do not excuse bad behavior. Russell Brand’s body guards reportedly scuffled with Indian news photographers in the tiger preserve. The LA Times published photos of the skirmishes.
Furthermore, tigers in small nature preserves in India are getting distressed by tourism traffic within the parks, so officials are scaling down wildlife tourism.
Image Credit: THerrington