But there are, you see. Barbara and I had the incredible opportunity to visit a reserve in central South Africa that is working on a breeding programme to produce WILD, free-living tigers in a well-protected environment. Recent stories from India suggest that the tiger reserves there are fast loosing their tigers: the famous tiger reserve, the Panna National Park, has no more tigers.
The fact that John Varty and co have successfully been able to establish a population of free-living and hunting tigers in the South African Karoo (of all places) really attests to the adaptability and resilience of this incredible species.
Leopards and Jaguars may be THE greatest beings ever ;-) but the experience of being with these tigers was well up there with the greatest things I have experienced in my life. These are hauntingly beautiful creatures. Their sheer size dwarfs that of the other big cats I am used to, but it is their magical power that affected me the most.
I was humbled by their presence.
I hardly spoke.
...As I just soaked in their power.
Shadow currently has three 7 months old cubs. Her colour is much richer than the other tigers we saw.
That night, I dreamed tigers. Everywhere I looked there were tiger faces. In my dreams, in daydreams, and in those precious few moments between being asleep and awake.
Shine, a 7 month old white tigress. She is going to be stunning as an adult, and will probably be the only wild living white tiger in the world.
These are no ordinary animals, they are magical beings with a power and presence well beyond my meager ability to understand or comprehend.
Please tell your friends about this tiger blog post, about JV's official Tiger Canyons website, and about what can be done for the tigers.