Note Seven

Zov Tigra National Park,
Primorsky Krai,
Far Eastern Russia.
February, 2017

We heard something very painful.

An Amur Tigress was caught in a trap reared by a dastardly crook. She chewed off a paw to free herself. Although she escaped, she was left crippled, unable to hunt, and eventually, died of starvation.

It’s a sin to fail such beauty; such perfection.

The world has lost 97% of its tiger population in a little over a century.

We’re restricting logging in tiger habitats, increasing the penalties on poaching and the possession of tiger parts.

After decades of decline, the global wild tiger population has started to rise, albeit marginally.

There’s 500 Amurs in the wild today. For a species that was on the brink of extinction in the 1930s, the upsurge is remarkable!

While the increase is encouraging, the species’ future in its natural environment hangs in suspense and the numbers are worryingly low.

There’s a civil war going on here. It’s linked to us, conservationists, and the government. We’re the anti-poachers, habitat protectors and every day, we carry out a war against those rascals, who for ages, have been stealing from the forest.

For instance, today we received some information that because of the amount of snow this year, the animals have had a bad winter. They can’t move around; it’s difficult for them. So poachers just get onto their snowmobiles, jump off and kill the animals with clubs.

The head conservationist here says, “In wildness is the preservation of the world. Tigers are signals for the state of the environment; the state of society even. Burgeoning tiger populations indicate that people are working; that people have jobs and don’t have to hunt and kill animals for trade, to feed their families; that predator-prey populations alike are thriving; that nobody’s cutting down forests. The more tigers in your forest, the better a country’s doing – economically, ecologically.”

If governments valued good conservation, if the public swore to protect and not poach, maybe we could co-exist with our wild cousins, after all.

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