Mammals

The Indochinese tiger

Perceptions are an important part of our existence, indeed they influence our actions in a multitude of ways. A common perception of tigers in many cultures is one of a cunning, dangerous, man eating predator. An animal that represents a darker age, that patrols both the margins of dark foreboding forests as well as the outer margins of our consciousness that host our fears.

But what if we turn the tables? What would a tiger's perception of Homo sapiens be? Likely, an evil and malignant force, that brings destruction to the natural world, that decimates the tigers food supply, not just taking what it needs but taking everything. A strange upright creature that destroys the habitat the tiger calls home. Bringing destruction to vast tracts of forest for no apparent reason, eating the trees with their noisy polluting logging machinery. A creature that stalks and hunts the tiger, that sets foul traps and poisoned baits that maim the big cats and leave them suffering a lingering painful death. And for what reason does this strange bipedal enemy hunt the tiger and its domain, not for food or need but for concepts that the tiger cannot have any understanding of: money; trophies; floor rugs; wall hangings; decorative items; quack elixirs and tonics; and man's ultimate dark desire - greed.

Is it our species who should fear the tiger or should the tiger fear us?

The Indo-Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) survives man, possibly temporarily, in scattered locations across Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam. It is believed that 400 to 1,100 are left in about 70 isolated reserves. Of this total it is estimated that between 250 and 700 (source: IUCN) may be surviving in Thailand. A species that has graced the earth, according to the fossil record, for at least 2 million years, is now hanging by a thread. A thread that is the result of less than 100 years of man's greed.

Who should be afraid of who?

 

Photo of a Tha wild tiger

Female Indochinese tiger or Corbett's tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti)

Photo of Bird Dropping Spider

Female Indochinese tiger or Corbett's tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti)

Photo of Assassin Bug

Male Indochinese tiger or Corbett's tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti)

If you wish to to assist the plight of the Indochinese tiger in Thailand, a simple web search will show you opportunities for donating to various organizations. Personally, I have chosen to give, and continue to support and give, to "Freeland" a Thailand based NGO, whose projects, training and results I have witnessed for myself. Their website is at Freeland.org

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"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

"An understanding of the Natural World and whats in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment." > Sir David Attenborough

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” > Robb Sagendorph