I wanted to talk to you about something I am really passionate about today, and that is protecting the tigers. Being a tiger protector, or supporting it, I should probably say, as I don’t do all the hard work, is something I have done since I turned 23, so that’s 8 months. I’ve always wanted to do it, but just been waiting for that time I could do it, and now I’m giving money every month to help protect our world’s tigers. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and is so rewarding too.
Most of you are probably thinking, well are tigers endangered? This is the thing, there are many animals out there, well known like tigers, that we are oblivious to and are thinking that they are SAFE but they are NOT.
The tiger is officially classed as endangered.
We can’t ignore that. There are less than 3,900 wild tigers left in the wild. The number of wild tigers have plummeted by over 95%. There are more tigers in captivity, especially in the US, than are left in the wild. As much as they are being poached for their body parts and skins to make Asian medicines, they are also being held captive against there own free will, which is just as bad. There are over 200 tiger farms in Asia that hold 7000-8000 tigers, that are being used for illegal trade, because they are breeding them for their body parts. This is why I urge you to do proper research into wherever you go on holiday, and you see advertised, you can sit with tigers etc. I get that, that is an amazing experience to do, but nine times out of ten, that animal isn’t there because they want to be there. Tigers aren’t on this planet to be part of a money making scheme. There are some places that do this who properly take care of them, but very few. I can tell you that Thailand is the worst for this, and that is a place that you really need to do some research on. If anyone has seen the documentary Blackfish, you will know what I’m talking about, its as bad as keeping Tilikum in that small tank in SeaWorld, just so they can make money from it. Torturing an Orca is not a tourist attraction, the same way as captivating a tiger isn’t.
Another reason for why Tigers are endangered is due to habitat loss. This is a major for all animals. Tigers now only occupy 7% of their historic range, and I don’t think I need to tell you that, that is very little. This then forces them to come closer and closer to people. This then leads to conflict, because people want to protect their families and livestock. In Asia, they are using wire and cable from bicycles that are being re-purposed into deadly snare traps to hunt down tigers. This is so upsetting, this method is actually killing more tigers than guns are now. This isn’t right, and its disgusting that anyone would want to harm an animal like this.
WWF are aiming to double the number of tigers to over 6,000 by 2022, which is the next Chinese year of the tiger. With the help of donations, this target can be more possible to reach. Your donations will help in so many ways, it will:
- Help restore fragmented areas of habitat so tigers can move between them
- Strengthen anti poaching patrols in and around protected areas
- Establish programmes to increase prey numbers
- Fund other essential work around the world
However its not just the tigers that need looking after, rangers are risking their lives everyday to help protect them. Between July 2017 and July 2018 107 rangers were killed in the line of duty
- 82% of rangers think their job is dangerous and rightly so, as they at risk of encountering poachers
- One in 15 have broken a bone on the job in the past year and roughly one in eight sustained another type of serious injury
- 58% rarely have access to clean drinking water while on patrol, and 36% don’t have access to communication devices while on patrol
- 28% feel the training they received when they started was not adequate
- Only 47% get paid sick leave
These statistics are shocking, and more needs to be done to help protect them. Without them, we would have even fewer animals today, so its really important that we help them too, and we can do this by donating to them.
Another thing I wanted to talk to you about was something called Earth Hour. On the 30th March at 8:30pm – 9:30pm people from all over the world, will be switching of their lights for an hour. This is to show that we care about climate change and the environment. This is it’s 12th year running and I think it would be great, if more of us get involved.
Lastly, I wanted to talk to you about something I want to start applying to my life, and that is to cut down on plastic. Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, killing and harming marine life. That is something that doesn’t sit nicely with me. There are ways to stop this though. We can:
- Carry a reusable coffee cup. Most coffee cups are non recyclable, 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away in a year in the UK alone, making that 7 million a day. I don’t actually drink hot drinks, so this is one thing that I already apply to my everyday life.
- Bring your own bottle. Plastic bottles are one of the most frequently used items found left on beaches. The lids commonly end up in seabirds stomachs. I use the brand Volvic a lot, and their bottles are 100% recyclable, however I will definitely do more research into this.
- Say no to plastic cutlery. I don’t really see plastic cutlery around, although I live near the seaside and dread to think, how many chip shops use plastic cutlery. There are lots of other options to use instead of plastic cutlery.
- Straws. I am definitely guilty of this one, and it will probably be one of the hardest challenges for me, because whenever I am in public I like to use a straw. Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose and is actually one of the biggest plastic problems there are. That is quite the reality check for me, and I shall just have to get over trusting places that I go to, with their dishwashers and washer uppers!
- Ditch Cling Film. Despite doing a lot of baking, you would think I would use a lot of cling film, but I haven’t used cling film for a long time now and just store everything into cake tins. I have seen a new alternative to cling film, and that’s beeswax wraps. They are 100% natural and are environmentally friendly. They are reusable and compostable, and not only that, but they come in really cute patterns!
- Teabags. As I have said, I don’t drink hot drinks, so this is another easy one for me. Instead of tea bags you can use loose leaf tea. I have actually found from buying gifts for tea lovers, that you can get more variety in flavours by buying loose leaf tea, I have even seen a chocolate flavored one! I’ve also heard that it tastes better too!
- Give up gum. Britons are the second biggest consumers of gum in the world. I occasionally do this, but it won’t be hard for me, as I can quite easily go without.
- Glitter. This is one I would never of thought about, however definitely one that needs more awareness. I don’t use glitter, but know a lot of children and schools do and with more attention I think this can be massively reduced.
- Milk. Only 4% of the British population get their milk delivered. That is quite shocking really. Milk bottles can be reused and recycled, and if more of us got our milk delivered, think how many more jobs that could create?
- Become a wine bottle sommelier. I actually hate wine, I think its vile, and don’t think I’ll ever be able to stomach it. I know there’s a lot of people out there who love it though. This just means choosing wine with natural cork stoppers, instead of plastic ones, surely that’s more satisfying too?
I hope this has helped people and I am definitely more aware myself, of ways I can help change plastic use. I could maybe do a separate blog post in a months time, to let you all know how I’ve got on. Thank you for reading, I know its been a lengthy one, but hope its made you more aware too!
More statistics on endangered animals
- There are estimated only 4,000 – 6,500 Snow Leopards in the wild
- 3,900 Tigers
- 1,860 Pandas
- 1,000 Gorillas
- 90 Leopards – This makes me want to cry. There is no animal that needs our help more right now, than Leopards.
We can change this.
To find out more about Earth Hour go to – https://www.earthhour.org/
To adopt a tiger go to – https://support.wwf.org.uk/adopt-a-tiger-toy
To donate to rangers, help pay for equipment etc go to –https://support.wwf.org.uk/donate-to-wwf/
To adopt any other animals, go to – https://support.wwf.org.uk/adopt-an-animal/
(All images used are my own apart from the Earth Hour)
“We want a world where our children know tigers roam free in jungles and rainforests, not just in storybooks.”