This is the year of tiger census in India. Government agencies and conservationalists are busy in counting the biggest known cat to the mankind. The last census had the conclusion that the precious breed of the cat was in grave danger. Only 1411 tigers were left in India than, scattered in different national parks trying to survive the attacks from the apex predator in the food chain, humans. Even though I mentioned food chain here, but the irony is that they are not killed for food but because of the greed we humans have. Every part of a tiger is precious, his skin, his bones, eyes everything has been valued highly in the international markets both for ornamental and medicinal reasons. His own parts have become enemies to the poor tiger. We humans have been killing tigers since ages and now it has reached the time when their existence is in danger.
Government is trying hard, or at least pretending so, to stop poaching of tigers in India. Conservationalists and wildlife lovers are trying to spread awareness in their own capacity in order to sensitize human to be considerate enough not to kill the tigers or support the killing by any means such as buying the products made of tiger parts. Government even once banned the wildlife tourism in core areas in the form of jungle safaris in India (the ban was lifted after a Supreme Court decision). But even after all these efforts from government; tiger poaching is a big threat for the population of the largest cat in the world.
The prime reason for tiger poaching is China. Tiger parts are used in traditional Chinese medicines. Chinese people are obsessed with tiger products. They have tiger wine made up of tiger penis and said to have positive effects on sexual strength of men. They use tiger bone powder in many of their traditional medicines. Since the supply is scarce, the prices for these products have reached to the sky. A poacher can earn up to $ 15000 for a single tiger skin and around $ 25000 for tiger bones. These lucrative price offers from Chinese firms have attracted poachers from India, which is a home to the biggest tiger population in the world.
We need to work along with government to save the precious tiger. We need to take some strong actions to stop poaching. Just banning tour operators to organize wildlife tour packages would not help the cause. I hope that the number of tigers would increase in this census and people become more sensitive towards the poor cat.