International Tiger Day was established in 2010 at Sait Pertersburg Tiger Summit in Russia to raise awareness about the decline of wild tiger numbers, leaving them in the brink of extinction and to encourage the work of Tiger conservation. In the Summit, a declaration was made that Governments of tiger populated countries had vowed to double tiger population by 2022.
Tiger play the role of apex predator in the wild, yet humans have seen fit to decimate their population. Harald Link, the chairman of B.Grimm, has major concerns about the fate of the kingdom’s wildlife. His concerns are reflected in the years of effort he has put in to saving the local tiger population from extinction – threatened by deforestation, poaching and demand for wildlife products.
Unfortunately, the number of wild tigers in Thailand is dwarfed by the number of tigers that now live in captivity. In Thailand, there are roughly 200 tigers in the wild and the kingdom is committed to increasing that number to 300 in the coming years.
“Thailand is one of the very few countries where there are still enough tigers left,” Mr. Link said. “In Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, there are no tigers left, and in Myanmar, there are very few. We know that if you disturb the top of the food chain, the whole environment will be in disarray. It is very difficult to put it back into balance,” he added.
The current pandemic has shown us the devastating results of an ecology out of balance. The W.H.O. estimates that 70-75% of new emerging infectious disease are zoonotic (passed from animals to humans). Aggressive wildlife protection efforts willnot only protect these magnificent creatures but will also mitigate against the severity of future pandemics and their effects on human welfare and economic stability. The tiger must be protected – their lives, and ours, depend on it.