As you know respect and love for the wildlife I photograph is very important to me and my work and I feel compelled to tell you about the great efforts fellow photographer and nature lover Paul Goldstein is going to to help the very much in trouble Tiger. One of the many ways to help them, Eco-tourism does seem to be one of the last options available to add ‘dollar value’ to them. A crass term, that often makes me wince so to speak though it may seem we need to make them ‘worth more alive’ as Paul very rightly puts it…
Check out those legs ladies!!
You may well have seen Paul in the news and in many other wildlife outlets; a real inspiration to us all and a reminder we can all help make a difference in many ways.
I myself have comparatively very limited experience of Tigers in the wild, something I am going to change in a big way soon. As my name is now getting more know throughout the genre, (slowly but surely!) I will be trying my best to put it good use and help those creatures who cannot have a voice for themselves.
The efforts of people like Paul, Andy (Rouse) and many others (but not all sadly!) photographers in the wildlife field are a huge personal inspiration to me and set the standard for helping the very wildlife that we set out to photograph. It really isn’t simply all about ‘getting the shot’, these are creatures to be admired and protected, not simply used.
Please check out his just giving page Worth More Alive. Every little helps and together we can make a difference. It really is now or never, no joke.
Read Paul’s own words below which can’t fail to get you thinking, assuming you are human…
Never mind my lifetime hatred of the absurdly and murderously titled ‘Big’ Five, here’s five things that are really f****** me off right now:
1. The Chinese continuing with their savage abattoir tiger ‘farms’.
2. The Tanzanian government trying to evict thousands of Maasai so they can use the land to ferry in some stinking cavemen Arab princes to shoot and butcher anything that moves…… in the name of sport.
3. The complicity of so many involved with the wholesale slaughter of rhino in Africa.
4. The even higher demand for horn, bone, whiskers, penises, pelts and claws for ‘traditional’ medicine in China, a medicine that has no medical provenance whatsoever.
5. Western governments completely spineless reaction to these unspeakable acts.
Anyone ever seen a panda in the wild? No of course you haven’t, the Chinese have made sure of that as they rent out the remaining ones around the world for millions each year. Are they worth saving, tough one. Tigers are worth it, one tiger carcass parcelled piecemeal; from the poachers bullet to the Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese slab is worth, at most $30,000. One adult breeding female by the end of her life is worth around $110m. It is not hard to see how short-sighted this extermination is.
Yes, the Indian authorities have made more tricky to see tigers with their ludicrous regulations following their government’s decree that somehow tourists were bad for tigers. Sadly a few chinless NGO’s and pitiful ‘conservationists’, without an ounce of predator pedigree, jumped on this pious bandwagon. Let me be quite clear: banish the tourists from Bandhavgarh, the Serengeti, Luangwa or the Mara and the poachers will move in that day with an arsenal of hardware and ordnance. Tourists are critical for this species’ survival.
Forgive my polemic but I am incandescent with all of this, hence at the perhaps unwieldy age of 50 I am donning the suit for two more marathons , this Sunday in Brighton and the following week in London, and maybe – depending how I feel, a little ‘jog’ in between !
I intend to use last years not inconsiderable sum and this year’s for proper projects: new, spring fed,solar-powered water holes in the park, big school renovations including a new assembly hall for the 500-strong school. This will benefit both tiger, prey and local people.
Many of you have already been generous this year and in the past but I am asking you to donatehttp://www.justgiving.com/worthmorealive4
however small, for this cause. Even if you don’t care about this striped cat, I am sure you loathe what people are doing to them.
Yes it will be tough on the course, if any of you are thinking of supporting don’t be shy about bringing along a few care packages (Wine gums, bananas, jelly snakes etc), they are both superb events. I will be sore by the end of this and hurting but my insignificant pain is nothing to what these animals are going through. I have said this before but I re-iterate: they are more than a signature species endorsed by golfers, rugby clubs, beers and cereals which do little or nothing for them, they are a meal ticket to so many: from guides to wardens, tourists and lodge owners, I hate the thought of losing them. Put simply, they matter and this week-end and the next they are going to start mattering a bit more.
Brighton Marathon number 14 April 8069
London Marathon number 21 April 39457
There is an app which you can use for both marathons after entering these numbers, working off a chip tied onto my slow-moving shoe which means you can chart my progress. You could probably also use a calendar for this ……
Thank you, sincerely.
I’ll leave you with perhaps my best tiger photo from my limited collection, she was due to give birth in 3 weeks at this point and was a real privilege to see. Many thanks and then some for reading; it really is important if you care even slightly about this magnificent creature!