Saturday, November 14, 2009
Singapore's last remnants of rainforest harbour few remaining hazards for careless hikers; having lost virtually all of our large mammals, wannabe explorers, blind and deaf to everything around them, have no fear of being ambushed and eaten by jungle denizens. By our hand, the forests have been tamed, sanitised, and made almost entirely safe for everyone to explore and enjoy. What remains is but a shadow of a forest primeval, a shell that at first glance still seems wild and untamed, but which actually disguises a biome thrown off kilter.
If only the forest could share the stories from its past, of the rumbling growls of tigers, of the clash of antlers as stags fought, of the thundering of hooves as wild boar charged through the undergrowth. In a forest devoid of its megafauna, and subsequently thrown into a state of disarray, do the trees clamour for the return of the tiger?
The tiger is long gone, and will never return. And yet, if you just close your eyes, allow your mind to wander, and listen, you may just catch the slightest ghost of a roar of a long-dead big cat. And for a moment, you forget everything else, and you feel the rush of adrenaline coursing through your veins, as dulled senses are heightened once again, awakening memories once thought lost and buried.