'Leave Me Alone': Voice Of The Tiger
Jennifer Scarlott feels if tigers could speak, ‘Leave Me Alone’ is what they would say.
Dear Cub kids,
Many of you devoted readers of Cub have probably already read about the ‘Leave Me Alone’ campaign, right here in your magazine! But just in case you’ve missed out on the news, here it is: Sanctuary has teamed up with a Facebook page called Save the Tiger, which has 2.7 million supporters, in a new campaign to, you guessed it, save the tiger!
Photo: Akshaya M. Radaye (I.E.S. Modern English School, Dadar, Mumbai, India.
Why is the campaign called ‘Leave Me Alone’? Because if tigers could speak, that is what they would say. They would say: protect us from poachers, protect our forests and grasslands, but otherwise, please, leave us alone, we can take care of ourselves very nicely, thank you! As biologists know, after all, tigers are very good at making baby tigers, as long as they are left in peace, in beautiful tiger forests.
The ‘Leave Me Alone’ campaign is fighting to make the tiger’s voice heard on many fronts. There is a petition, already signed by more than 32,000 people; there are events all over India informing people about the needs of the tiger, and how they can join the fight to protect it; and there are tiger defenders all over India whose efforts are being supported by more andmore people. The campaign is big and it’s growing!
The tiger and the ‘Leave Me Alone’ campaign have support from people working far beyond India’s borders, too. People like Dr. Alan Rabinowitz and Dr. George Schaller, famous wildlife conservationists at Panthera, a wild cat conservation organisation in New York City. People like Bill McKibben and 350.org, his famous, international organisation fighting to stop climate change. Bill and many other climate activists in America and around the world know how important it is to save the tiger – not only because it is a beautiful animal, but also because its forest home keeps carbon from polluting the atmosphere. That’s good for people and tigers! And Patrick McDonnell, creator of the Mutts comic strip, is a big supporter of the ‘Leave Me Alone’ campaign.
But away from all the busy activity of famous and ordinary people, in towns and villages and crowded, noisy cities, there is the tiger itself… Somewhere in India right now, a tigress stands watch over her cubs in a monsoon-drenched forest. If you ever get a chance to see your beautiful national animal, it will take your breath away. And if you can ever find a way to spend a few days visiting a tiger reserve, you will find that the magnificent tiger leads a double life – for this is a creature of both myth and the everyday. The tiger is one of the most iconic and beautiful animals this planet has ever produced – powerful, at times fierce, a guardian of her offspring and of her forest home. But the great striped cat is also an everyday creature – she sleeps, she hunts (most of her hunts fail), she protects and teaches her young, she sleeps with a full belly in the heat of summer, in the monsoon rains, and in the chill of winter. Like you, she hopes for ordinary things: plentiful food, clean water, adequate living space, and safety for herself and her family.
You Cub kids can help the tiger, help tiger forests, help the climate, and help yourselves and the people you love, by helping the tiger roar: ‘Leave Me Alone’! Contact us to find a Kids for Tigers event near you – we will help your roar magnify the tiger’s, and be heard by all those with the power to help protect the great cat.
Author: Jennifer Scarlott, First appeared in: Sanctuary Cub, November 2013.