A 27-year-old American adventure blogger was recently killed by the remote Sentinelese Tribe on North Sentinel Island. The blogger hired fishermen to illegally take him to the island and left him in a canoe to trek to the island.
His criminal trespassing to the island resulted in his being killed by the villagers and may have now doomed the previously uncontacted tribe forever.
According to Survival International, “This tragedy should never have been allowed to happen. The Indian authorities should have been enforcing the protection of the Sentinelese and their island for the safety of both the tribe and outsiders.
A few months ago the authorities lifted one of the restrictions that had been protecting the Sentinelese tribe’s island from foreign tourists, which sent exactly the wrong message, and may have contributed to this terrible event.
It’s not impossible that the Sentinelese have just been infected by deadly pathogens to which they have no immunity, with the potential to wipe out the entire tribe.”
And the problem continues in the Andaman Islands where human safaris continue. Survival International reports, “The Andaman Administration promised to open a sea route to the Islands’ most popular tourist destinations, which would stop tourists needing to drive through the Jarawa’s reserve.
But despite the authorities’ commitment to ensuring all tourists would have to use the sea route, very few currently do, and the market in human safaris along the road is flourishing.
One tour company, Tropical Andamans, states that: “The Famous Jarawa creek is a lonely planet in itself. It is the dwelling place of the oldest tribes found in these islands.
The tribes known as Jarawas, are aloof from the civilized world. They are the wonder of the modern world, for they feed on raw pigs, fruits, and vegetables. They don’t speak any language known to general public. Their pitch black skin and red eyes will leave you dazzled in case you happen to meet them.”
A tourist website, Flywidus, offers a glimpse of “primitive tribals” to tourists driving through the Jarawa reserve, and another, Holidify, describe the Jarawa as a “major attraction” and claims that the Jarawa “love the high of specific drugs, one of it being tobacco.”
Activists are now concerned about the future of North Sentinel Island, circled by spectacular clear sapphire water, a secure ring of submerged coral reefs and completely covered by a thick mangrove jungle that ends at the powdery white beaches. This outcast paradise, removed from all civilization, is surrounded by more mystery than any science fiction film.
Located far into the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean, North Sentinel Island is one of the most isolated places on earth. Approximately the size of Manhattan, this remote island is home to the Sentinelese tribe, the most dangerous tribe in the world. I was recently traveling in the area and was struck by the beauty of the region, but also shocked by how quickly development and tourism is encroaching on these unexplored islands.
The North Sentinel island made headlines in 2006 after the tribe murdered two fishermen who had illegally approached the island. After the incident, a 3-mile zone has been imposed around the island, and the Sentinelese have since kept a low profile.
The Indian government, who previously tried to establish a relationship with the tribe, have since stopped all attempts to make contact. To this day, very little is known about the Islanders. An estimate suggests around 300 members remain on the island, however, the mystery remains as to what really exists deep inside the lush island.
In recent months, fears have begun mounting that plans for a tourism boom beyond neighboring Andaman and Nicobar Islands may reverse this, and pose a threat to all four Andaman tribes. The plans include the introduction of high-end human safari companies and resort developments.
The Barefoot Resort made headlines that they were building very close to the Jarawa reserve in an area that the Jarawa tribe call home, and perhaps the only space left between the Sentinelese and civilized society. However, those claims were rebutted in an exhaustive report by the company.