Anyone who has been to Ranthambhore has heard something about the eccentricity, devotion and passion of Fateh Singh Rathore.He joined the Indian Forest Service in 1960 and spent many years as Field Director of Ranthambhore.He was one of the few handpicked by Kailash Sankhala the then director of Project Tiger to be part of the first Project Tiger team. Widely acknowledged as a tiger guru his knowledge of the stripped cat is legendary; he has an uncanny ability to predict where the tigers are and many have witnessed him talk to them. His single minded drive to protect the park was not always popular.
Once infuriated at the bar on grazing cattle in the protected area, villagers ambushed his vehicle, beat him up and left him bloody and unconscious for dead. He was soon up and defending the reserve again of course amidst plenty more threats to his life. In 1983 Fateh Singh was awarded the International Valour Award for bravery in the field.
One of the best known warriors in the global effort to save the Indian tiger, he has been awarded the status of honorary warden of the park. He lives about 10 minutes from the Ranthambhore gates at Maa Farms where among other things he has started a school for local children with an emphasis on wildlife conservation.