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Newsletter 11
28/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Pic: JV

The cartoonist Gary Larson once said, while people eat millions of turkeys every year, there is no danger of their extinction. No one eats eagles and they are in grave danger of extinction.

The same could be said of tigers.

Thousands of tigers exist in zoos around the world, earning money for their masters as "displays", while the tigers in the wild dwindle away as human beings take the last of their prey and home range.

The tigers moving to extinction, belong to the governments of the Tiger countries, while the expanding tiger populations in captivity, belong to the private enterprise.

We have a saying in South Africa "if it pays it stays" and it seems that it applies perfectly to the tiger. A high ranking official in the forestry department of China once said to me "what is the use of a tiger on top of a mountain or deep in a swamp where no one can see it. Put it in a cage where we can all see it." 

Compare this to the mission statement of Tiger Canyons which reads "save the tiger and you save the forests, the rivers, the birds the insects and indeed all things that make up the pyramid of life."

The political systems in the Tiger countries, is where the problem to tiger conservation exists.

The tigers are in the hands of officials, mostly state forestry officials, who have never invested one cent in tigers. Most of them are politicians, who know very little about tigers.

As a forestry official in India told me, people have votes, tigers don't, so people are more important. If the politician doesn't get the vote, then out he goes and a new one moves in.

In Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, in 2004, the tour operators reported that tigers were extinct from the park. After several investigations and emergency tiger census's and denials from the Rajasthan Forest Department, the tigers were finally declared, more than a year later, extinct from the park.

If tiger conservation remains I the hands of government officials, it will simply continue to decline.

Under the Chinese Government, there are virtually no tigers left in the wilds in China, yet under "private enterprise", there are several safari parks with more than a 1000 tigers in them.

How do these safari parks sustain themselves? They are profitable through tourism and they provide the huge Chinese medicine market with medicinal parts of the tiger.

In other words, they are harvested like chickens are harvested in a chicken battery. The skin, the bones, the teeth, the whiskers, the claws, the fat and the urine, all have, according to Chinese medicine men, medicinal properties. The net result is, a tiger is worth more dead than alive. China has in excess of 1.6 billion people, so the market for tiger body parts is huge.

Tourists visiting the park, can for various amounts of money, throw a live chicken, goat or cow to the tigers.

South Africa is no different. Under private enterprise, thousands of lions, mostly males (far more than exists in the wilds), exist in cages waiting to be shot by overseas hunters in the canned lion, multi million rand industry. Many people are revolted by the thought of a magnificent male lion being shot, with no chance to escape.

Cruelty flourishes when there is profit to be made and private enterprise's goal is profit.

While conservationists agonize about the last disappearing tiger, big cat auction sales in the Free Sate of South Africa, freely offer tigers for sale. Many wont like this, but this is private enterprise operating in the free enterprise market of supply and demand.

The fact remains, any tiger in the hands of the government are declining and any tigers in the hands of private enterprise are increasing.

It seems obvious to me that what is needed, is to get tigers in the wilds into the hands of private enterprise.

I followed a leopard at Londolozi for 14 years. I took more than 1 million feet of film of that leopard. Londolozi guests took literally millions of pictures of her and her 19 cubs. Films, books, songs, poems and paintings survive today which pay homage to the original "mother leopard".

Seven generations of leopards from the original mother leopard, thrive and survive at Londolozi and many have dispersed out to other lodges.

What was the commercial value of the original leopard, a million dollars? Much, much more I can assure you.


Tiger Canyons    Pic: JV

At Tiger Canyons, the tigress Julie is playing the same role.

Her face has been seen in 106 countries around the world. She inspired over 300 000 people who responded to the Discovery Tiger Website. More than 300 hours of film have been taken of her and her cubs. Thousands of pictures have been taken of her and her cubs by visitors coming to Tiger Canyons.


JV & Julie    Pic: Sunette

She is the only wild tigress in the world that will allow a human being to hunt with her and come into her private den with new born cubs.

My rapidly expanding web site is testimony to millions of people around the world, who have a concern for the future of the magnificent tiger and Julie symbolizes this concern.

What is Julie's commercial value? Million of dollars, no doubt.

The Kruger National Park in South Africa recently privatized some concession areas for large amounts of money. This I believe, is the road to the future.

If Asian countries are serious about conserving the tiger, then their mindset needs to alter radically.

Existing parks need to be given to private operators whose jobs it is, to conserve the fauna and flora, including the tiger. Private enterprise needs to be encouraged to start new parks which accommodate tigers.

Pilanesberg, Madikwe and Phinda are all parks in South Africa started from scratch, which today support good populations of lion, leopard and cheetah. The same can be done with the tiger.

Will Asian Governments be able to change a system which has been entrenched for many years? For the sake of the tiger, I sincerely hope so.

Forward thinking conservationists will take the Tiger Canyons blue print and copy them in their own countries. The tiger may be saved elsewhere from Asia.


Pic: JV

Ultimately, these countires will film and photograph and when their sanctuaries are saturated with tigers will offer surplus male tigers for hunting.

When this happens, the tiger, like Gary Larson's turkeys, will be safe in the wilds for future generation to see and appreciate.

Light & Peace
JV 

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


Newsletter 143
14/03/17
If it Pays, it Stays

Newsletters 142
14/02/17
Best Photographs at
Tiger Canyons

Newsletters 141
16/01/17
Lady Hunters

Newsletter 140
10/12/16
Londolozi and Love

Newsletter 139
23/11/16
Life is Not Fair

Newsletter 138
17/11/16
The Trump Card

Newsletter 137
22/10/16
Most Admired People on the Planet

Newsletters 136
13/10/16
Captive vs Wild

Newsletter 135
08/10/16
To trade  or not To Trade

Newsletter 134
08/08/16
A Defining Moment

Newsletter 133
08/07/16
I Have Lost A Friend

Newsletter 132
13/05/16
The World is Changing

Newsletter 131
08/04/16
Icon Cats

Newsletter 130
31/03/16
Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
28/11/15
Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
12/11/15
Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
28/10/15
The Break Out

Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
Tiger Boma


Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust