tigers, humans and creative hunting

There is more than animal preservation to today’s Globe and Mail’s article, ‘In South Africa, Chinese tigers claw their way back to life.’  I was initially drawn to this article by the tigers but I carried away a more lasting curiosity about the founders of this tiger effort.

Fashion and investments seem very remote businesses from the survival of tigers – as much as we might like to make predatory metaphors for both industries.  Yet this article explains that fashion executive, Li Quan and U.S banker, Stuart Bray founded an experimental project to increase the survival efforts of one of the most endangered tiger species.  The project introduced the South China tigers to a larger and wilder reservation in South Africa which was met with criticism from conservation experts.

What makes these two people pursue this project so outside their industries, and with controversy?  More typical would be to see executives attending gala events or celebrities having concerts where all the money goes to the experts to do things like end poverty forever.

The cost and the work to establish this project have been huge and 13 years later is still under criticism, despite a dramatic increase in this reserves’ breeding and survival rate.  What is their motivation?

And why do they work so hard to preserve something that would eat us if they had a chance?  Why don’t we stick to pandas?  Is there a common denominator that drew me to this article and these founders to this project?

The ability to step away from the workday and put our minds to the conservation of that which is natural and powerful, reminds us that we still have a little of this in ourselves.  It is what keeps us from being swept up in our daily lives and being led more than leading.  It keeps us creative in our hunting and hunters for new game.  Through this charitable organization, these two people have allowed themselves to have a story a little less ordinary.

For a further read into this article as well as other facts towards this conservation effort, please click on the following links:

  1. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/in-south-africa-chinese-tigers-claw-their-way-back-to-life/article12594753/
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Save_China’s_Tigers
  3. http://www.savechinastigers.org/
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