“Two Brothers”.  Sounds so affectionate, it has warmth. After all, anything to do with family is comforting and gives us a sense of protection. I am talking about a 2004 movie “Two Brothers”.  In the movie two tiger cubs are separated. One is sold to the circus and the other captured by a Khmer prince. After facing brutality by humans, they finally get reunited.

There is an obvious difference between fiction and reality, the two are really close but they don’t actually touch. I can’t say the same about this topic. Two Brothers was probably made for a specific purpose, to be precise- to impart wisdom and for humans to become more sensitive towards Wildlife, but sadly the purpose has never been fulfilled. Humans are corrupt more than ever and cruel towards Wildlife around the globe. The World Bank estimates that illegal international trade of Wildlife on black market is worth an estimated 10 billion per year.

If we talk only about India, the tiger population in the 20th century was 40,000 but by 1972 there were only 1827 tigers left: they were extinct. There are several reasons: They are hunted and poached, they are killed as trophies to be stuck in homes, they are sold in other international markets for trade, they are drugged, made weak and controlled by man to perform in the circus.

The greed for money is justified but not to the extent of barbarism.

It is said that by selling one tiger skeleton, a poacher makes an amount equal to what some labourers earn in ten years, and it doesn’t get any crueler than that.

The biggest market for Indian tiger is Southeast Asia and even China. There are several ridiculous reasons for a tiger to be killed and some of them are:

  • The tail of the tiger is mixed with soap to create an ointment to cure skin cancer.
  • The bones in the tip of tiger’s tail are said to ward off evil spirits.
  • Mixing the brain of tiger with oil and rubbing on your body is a permanent cure for laziness and acne-as if humans can’t get rid of laziness by themselves.
  • Praying by sitting on a tiger’s skin brings you abundant wealth and fortune- shortcut to success, albeit, you need a gun and courage.
  • The tiger’s penis is said to be an aphrodisiac- well, now we all know what VIAGRA is made up of.
  • You can possess strength, courage and intelligence by consuming a tiger’s heart. There is absolutely no need to meditate, observe the world and crawl your way through or go to the gym and eat good food as there is an easy way. Just go to the jungle with your rifle, shoot the tiger and take his heart out.

But, India did make progress in terms of saving tigers. In 1972 “PROJECT TIGER” was started on 1st April by the Government of India during Indira Gandhi’s tenure with a population of 1827 tigers. The project obviously had not been successful because the population of tigers didn’t increased much. In 46 years, there has been a small but positive change. According to the last census in January 2015, it was noted that there are about 2226 tigers in India.

The Government of India in March 2018 has allocated Rs.350 crores for tiger conservation in the current budget and with the help of Wildlife experts it is expected that there will be 2600 big tigers by end of 2018.

The major tiger areas in India are:

  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Rajasthan
  • Karnataka
  • West Bengal
  • Uttarakhand
  • Maharashtra

As the number of tiger’s increase, there should be more funds for tiger conservation to build more tiger sanctuaries, to maintain for their scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values. But it’s not only the Government’s job to maintain it. We as humans should be sensitive to them, let’s be scared of tigers instead of them being scared of us. There is a reason why they are termed as “Wildlife Animals”, they are WILD, so let them be. Let us just observe and study the unique animal. Tiger is a national animal of India and we ought to preserve our national heritage and pride.

Let’s unite and save the big beautiful cats!shutterstock_50457460

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