The Tigers of India
- Nov 02, 2011
What is the symbol of India to the rest of the world? It is India’s beautiful tigers. And yet this very Indian treasure is in danger of going the way of the Tasmanian tiger, and becoming extinct. There are now only 1,600 tigers left in India. A number that is horrifyingly low. While the rest of the world only has the same number of tigers left again.
What can be done about it? I have just spent a couple of days on elephant, in jeeps and on foot looking for a tiger (and failing) and having spoken to numerous experts in India I believe there is a great opportunity to take the good work India has done with tigers and lift it to a whole new level.
Given the human pressures, India has already done a brilliant job at keeping alive over half the wild’s remaining tigers. We need to support the country so it has the power and resources to make sure that the tiger population is rebuilt back to safe levels within the next ten years.
We must help ensure that not one more inch of land is lost for the tiger and that people in local communities can always live in peaceful coexistence with this beautiful creature and prosper. Ideally, the tigers need to be able to travel from forest to forest via safe corridors to ensure their survival. It is critical that these corridors are kept open.
Wonderful global organisations like WildAid (with support from our own Virgin Unite) are ready to help. I was also lucky enough to have a number of friends join us for the Connection Trip, a great group of entrepreneurs from around the world who are all generously supporting the project. It would be our privilege to learn from and work with local Indian organisations and individuals to ensure that tigers in India thrive alongside local communities. WildAid with help from Jackie Chan and others will also continue to work hard to ensure that we reduce the demand for tiger parts.
As my local Indian Tracker sadly said: “The Tigers of India do not have any voting rights.” May we all prove him wrong.