By Adrian Samora
Close your eyes and create this image in your head.
Place yourself in the middle of a dense rainforest. The heat is strong and the humidity is even stronger. Nothing can be heard except the calls of the birds high in the canopy. Mud and water lay still below the roots of a towering tree. Insects make their march across branches and build their homes in fallen logs. The pitter-patter of rain begins suddenly and then just as sudden as it began, it stops. As you walk amongst the mud and ferns a sound is heard. A deep growl vibrates through the ground and a sighting of stripes becomes a mark of sudden danger. Among the low-lying ferns and vines there lies a Bengal Tiger.
As you picture yourself in this situation among a very dangerous predator, think about what you would do. You have no weapons and the Bengal Tiger is armed. Through the shrubs she sees you, giving you a deep look of both curiosity and caution. She then turns around and leaves. Hopefully nobody ends up in a situation like this, but here’s a thought:
Would the situation you just pictured yourself in be any different for the tiger?
Destruction of rainforest homes for the Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) has driven many tigers into unknown areas. Tiger families have been scattered and broken apart by mass deforestation and those simply going about their lives are living under the constant threat of poachers. Seeking refuge for her and her cubs, the tiger is continually pushed to the brink. One minute the stream they were drinking from is flowing, the next it has been destroyed or polluted by logging. Food becomes scarce, forcing tigers to attack livestock, causing infuriated farmers to kill them in order to protect their farms. Sadly, tiger home ranges in India and neighboring areas have been decimated and in just a 4 year span Bengal Tigers have lost 12% of their habitat. Now there are less than 2,500 left in the wild.
Bengal Tigers live in constant danger. An ever-changing landscape threatens their homes, while some people find money in their coats and organs. When we put ourselves in the position of a tiger, we can gain insight as to what our impact on their lives really means. While we may imagine ourselves in a foreign, wild land, the Bengal Tiger’s home is always unsafe for them and they are living in constant danger.
At RainTees we are excited to begin reforestation of new areas across Asia and as this land becomes reforested we can provide more shelter for tiger cubs, more protection from poaching, and more security for the tiger. As the trees rise, so can hope for the survival of the Bengal Tiger and since all species are currently endangered, hope is crucial.
Non-profit organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund have put together the Save Tigers Now campaign. Their mission is to gain political, public, and financial resources to double the tiger population. Other organizations such as Panthera also aim to provide conservation for all big cats across the globe. We ask you to consider what you can do to help save these endangered animals, and give thought to action. Thank you.
Make sure to sign up for our newsletter here for more information on our programs or to become involved with RainTees. Sign up box can be found in the top left corner of the page.