Hotel groups in India that rely on
tourism, should be encouraged to acquire land which is
fenced and stocked with suitable prey. Then the tigers can
be introduced and controlled ecotourism developed. Once
again South Africa has good examples in its private lodges.
My view: How does
privatization help conserve wildlife. Are place like
Serengeti, Masai Mara privatized?. The size of the African
wildlife reserves are huge, something in the range of 10000
square kilometers, where as an average Indian tiger reserve
may measure up to 500 square kilometer. So, models which are
applicable for Africa are not suitable for India. Is there
any scientific proof that privatization has helped Africa?
If so lion numbers should have increased in privatized game
reserves. It is well understood that conservation requires
In-situ solutions and not ready made/ordered "ELSE WHERE"
The main reason for
decline in tiger numbers is prey depletion. What do you mean
when you say "stocked with suitable prey"? Are you
suggesting running domesticated tiger farms. You cannot run
"PREY Farms" so that later prey can be introduced into tiger
farms so that tigers can prey on them. Is there any
scientific evidence to show that forest area cover in South
Africa is increasing ? When you say Hotel groups should
acquire land, what sort of land and where is the land?
Hardly 3% of India's land is left for wildlife. Is it
possible to create natural Eco systems/habitats for tigers
by buying agricultural lands.
3. JV: "Approach your local zoos and
encourage them to acquire land for wild tigers. There is an
estimated 45,000 tigers in captivity world wide. Encourage
your zoos to do ex-situ conservation projects with wild
tigers. Putting a tiger in a cage is "old think", encourage
the zoos to go for wild populations of tigers. "
My View: I rubbish your
idea of zoos acquiring land for WILD TIGERS and trying to
introduce 45 000 CAPTIVE TIGERS. It sound very funny!!! Are
you suggesting that all captive tigers should be trained to
hunt and then later released into privatized artificial
natural Eco system which contain DOMESTICATE WILD PREY?
JV's response to letter:
Prahllada: "First of all, it should be clearly
understood that tigers are landscape animals and
fencing national parks would only prevent their
You don't have any landscape. Your population is
officially 1.2 billion (other say 1.4 billion). Your
parks, or what's left of them, are surrounded by
people and domestic stock. The parks are unfenced,
so you have conflict between tigers and humans on a
daily basis. You are 200 years too late for your
landscape scenario. Your tigers are competing with
320 people per square kilometer.
Sudhi Prahllada: "How does privatization help
South Africa's private enterprise is converting
300,000 hectares a year to wildlife. Governments are
notoriously slow to react. Private enterprise acts
as the catalyst and when it is a success,
Every year in South Africa white rhino, black rhino,
sable antelope, roan antelope flow from Government
parks into the hands of private individuals because
the Government knows it makes good economic sense
and the private enterprise will protect it.
A private individual just paid R9 million for a 48
inch disease free buffalo bull. This is private
enterprise at its very best doing creative
conservation. The same can be done with the tiger in
the hands of private individuals.
Your third question answers your first question
Sudhi Prahllada: "Hardly 3% of Indian land is left
Has it occurred to you that if you had private
enterprise, this number may be a lot higher. If it
is 3%, and I believe it is, then your Government has
failed dismally to protect your wildlife and by
extension the tiger.
So what you should be doing, is finding a way for
Lakshmi Mittal and others to invest in wildlife and
tigers. They will only invest if it makes money.
Richard Branson is my neighbour near Londolozi and
he has invested in wildlife because it makes money.
Sudhi Prahllada: "I rubbish
your idea of zoos acquiring land for wild tigers"
There are many examples of the Frankfurt Zoo, the
New York Zoological Society, the Toronto Zoo and the
London Zoo supporting wild projects in different
What I'm suggesting is instead of investing in "old
think" like putting tigers in cages, the zoos should
invest in land for tigers which is fenced and then
stocked with suitable prey and then run
Now they can run the land like we run Londolozi Game
Reserve on a multi use basis using tourism, wildlife
films, communication, social upliftment, job
creation and education programmes into the
In short, you invest the local community in the
tiger like we have invested our community in the
leopard. You run your park on a profitable basis and
this is the first step to protecting and saving the
Sudhi Prahllada: "So models
which are applicable for Africa are not suitable for
You must know by now that your Government has set
you on a path which has no chance of saving the wild
tiger. Your conservation officials in India have
failed to learn from the African examples. Lion,
Leopard, cheetah have all been introduced back into
Pilanesberg, Madikwe, Welgefonden and many private
parks. All these areas were once farm land and we
now pulsating with prey and predator and tourists.
The same can be done with the Tiger.
In the beginning of your E-mail you say "I
appreciate your interest and efforts to save the
wild Tigers". Thank you for this encouraging
Unfortunately as your E-mail continues, the
questions and comments become confused and your
frustration and ignorance become apparent.
Sudhi Prahllada: "I suggest
your first understand tiger ecology"
I am not the enemy. Loss of home range, loss of
prey in the face of 1.4 billion people all
trying to survive, is the enemy. Your
Governments inability, to save the tigers is the
enemy. Corrupt Government forestry
officials involved in poaching is the enemy.
The arrogance of your Government officials and
their inability to learn from success's in other
countries is the enemy. Your failure to invest
communities on the side of the parks in the
tiger is the enemy. Your lack of political will
and your inflexibility is the enemy.
Visiting Tiger Canyons are now many tourist that
used to go to India. They are now unable to get
a decent pictures of a tiger in India, so they are
spending the money at Tiger Canyons in South Africa.
They fly in planes, they hire cars, they stay in
hotels, they come to see, photograph and be inspired
by the tiger. This is income that should be flowing
to India, but it's not, it's coming to South Africa.
Finally I suggest you move out from behind your
computer, go and study same examples that work and
then try to implement those examples in India. Good
LET OUR PICTURES DO THE TALKING
Images from "Chuffing Tigers"
So to something more positive. Some time ago I said
in a newsletter that we must let our pictures do the
Jos and Yvette van Bommel
Jos & Yvette Van Bommel have produced the most
stunning book called "Chuffing Tigers". The pictures
all taken at Tiger Canyons are breathtaking. Tigers
swimming, play fighting, in rocks and reeds, every
page is an exciting new discovery.
Every person interested in cats and the plight of
the tiger should have this book.
Susanne Baden has also produced a beautiful
pictorial record of her many trips to Tiger Canyons.
The photographic competition has received many
beautiful pictures. I have seen some and they are
absolutely stunning. For those who have not yet
entered, you have until the 15th of November to
Due to the success of this competition, next year's
competition will be the big 4 cats. You will be
invited to enter a picture of a lion, a leopard, a
cheetah and a tiger. Each picture will score points
which will be totaled and the winner will again win
a Big Cat Safari. Details will reach you in the New
Tiger Canyons is producing its first calendar
entitled "Tigresses". Many beautiful pictures have
been captured with ladies posing with Julie, Zaria
and Shine. What fun we have had making the calendar.
If you would like to be in the calendar, contact
If you are too small to pose with the tigers, we
will photoshop you into the picture. Therefore one
to a hundred is our age limit for the calendar. All
proceeds of the calendar will go to Tiger
Tigers have been seen several times while guests
were having breakfast on the platform. We are hoping
that "Breakfast with a Tiger" will become a regular
Shadow, Tiger Boy and Shy Boy are free ranging in
the new area and rapidly diminishing the prey.
Shadow was seen mating with Tiger Boy and Shy Boy
alternately. I have only seen this once before with
two male lions at Londolozi who were brothers and
very compatible. Tiger Boy and Shy Boy are both
vasectomised, so no offspring will result.
Tiger Boy is the only wild born wild raised tiger
that will regularly greet me with the chuffing
sound. I regard it as privilege to be greeted by
this wild male tiger.
The Swamp Male (Sariska) recently did an interesting
thing. When challenged by Seatao and Julie, he
backed down an antbear hole to protect his rear end.
When Julie and Seatao came near him, he swatted them
and eventually they lost interest in the fight.
Leopard Queen, the film about Manana the famous
leopard who lived to nearly 17 years at Londolozi,
has come second at the Jackson Hole Film Convention
in the USA. If anyone would like a copy, they should
Finally I have a questions for you which I cannot
answer. "Why do Tigers reverse into the water?"
Please give me your ideas.
Tread lightly on the Earth