Born and brought up in Canchipur, a historical site interspersed with several scared ponds, open grounds and small hillocks, rich in local biodiversity and folklore, in the State of Manipur, Malemleima Ningombi’s love for the natural world, storytelling and daydreaming was instilled early in life. Being a student with some academic brilliance, she decided to pursue her Bachelor and Master’s degree in Science and later, joined Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun as a wildlife biologist. Alongside, she also did a course in media and journalism studies.
She worked for more than seven years in three different conservation projects under WII. During this time she had the opportunity to see eye to eye with wild tigers, taste fruits that wild bears eat and marvel at the beauty of breaking dawn in the jungle; to travel the length and breadth of the country exploring and studying several different animals kept ex-situ – from elusive Snow leopard to majestic King cobra to shimmering Nicobar pigeon; and to work close to heart and home, on the Sangai or Manipur Eld’s deer in the fragile floating habitat of Keibul Lamjao National Park.
After the completion of “Community & Sustainability”, a documentary on tribal communities living sustainably within forests in Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas, Malemleima is currently working on a Coffee Table Book that highlights lesser known food plants and food culture of the tribal communities in the Cauvery River basin in Karnataka, India.