An excerpt from “Tiger Tiger Fading Fast”, by Gordon J.L. Ramel
Tiger tiger fading fast
in the shadow we have cast,
what brave law or business deal
can thy future’s safety seal.
What the future, what the hope
that humankind may learn to cope
with life and maintenance of breath
without this need of needless death.
(The above poem is a parody based on the work of William Blake titled ‘The Tyger’ (Source – http://www.ecology.info/tiger-tiger.htm))
I would love to say that I took this picture while on a safari, but I didn’t. This is a Royal Bengal Tiger at the Nandankanan Zoo in Bhubaneshwar.
(Luckily, I saw a beautiful tigress on a safari later – read about the experience here)
India has over half the world’s tigers. In 2016, data from the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) placed the global tiger population at 3,890 while for the same year India’s count was 2,500, according to a statement by India’s Environment Minister.
As per Wikipedia, the Indian tiger population at the turn of the 20th century was estimated at 20,000 to 40,000 individuals. In 2006, it dropped to the lowest ever count of 1,411.
Poaching and habitat destruction/fragmentation have been the main causes for an alarming fall in numbers. ‘Project Tiger’ was launched by the Indian government in 1973 to ensure a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats and it has met with some success as the 2016 count shows.