Poetry by Nishand Venugopal | Illustration by Sonali R. Kulkarni

Look around! There is a wild world out there,

Which deserves respect and utmost care.

Whatever the decision you make,

Try to be considerate for nature’s sake.

Especially when you are in a wild habitat,

There will be a lot of exciting things to look at.

Engage with your surroundings with an open mind,

You will be amazed to see what you find.

Tigers and elephants and other species too,

From flora to fauna, there is much that you can view.

Birds and insects will usher you into a new world,

Expecting to see everything is an idea quite absurd.

It never helps to be noisy and frustrated,

Wildlife avoids tourists who are agitated.

With silence and patience, observe the wild,

Approach nature with the wonder of a child.

Try not to pollute the wild habitats you visit,

Never support an activity that’s illicit.

Reduce or refuse plastic consumption,

Each thoughtful deed helps in conservation.

Avoid teasing and feeding wild species,

Humans and animals suffer from practices like these.

Support the sustenance of local communities,

Urge others to take part in such activities.

Look for comfort but not at the cost of nature around you,

Remember such protected habitats are now very few.

Never underestimate your role in safeguarding Mother Nature,

Respecting wildlife and their habitats is the key to a sustainable future.

About the Poet:

Nishand Venugopal is a nature enthusiast who quit his 15-year-old job as a producer in a leading English news channel to pursue his passion for nature and wildlife conservation. He’s an avid nature photographer, writes poetry and prose that focus on nature and conservation, and uses his website nishandphotoark.com and social media channels to encourage people to observe and conserve nature.

About the Artist:

Sonali Rishikesh Kulkarni is a sixth grader at Mason Intermediate School, Ohio, USA. She loves art and playing chess. Sonali also plays two musical instruments, piano and the violin.