The Natural World: Mountains of the Monsoon

The Natural World, BBC 2
8pm Friday 16th January

Rather than joining the family business, Indian wildlife photographer Sandesh Kadur committed himself to documenting the natural treasures and zoological wonders to be found only a few hours drive from his native Bangalore. Although less than 10% of the Western Ghats remain untouched, these mountains are one of the most biologically diverse places left on the planet. Their unique beauty and mystery are embodied for Sandesh in a chance sighting he had 10 years ago with a strange, all-grey feline unlike anything he had ever seen before – but known by the local tribal people as the pogeyan. Whether or not this enigmatic cat-in-the-ghat really is a new species, the pogeyan has become for Sandesh a talisman – offering some hope for the future in nature’s ability to survive the unprecedented pressures which 21st century India is subjecting its last wild places to. This is the story of Sandesh Kadur’s journey through one of India’s last wildernesses and his quest to document and show why preserving such wild places matters to modern India.

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