Use a Condom, Save a Tiger

I pay extra on my satellite television bills because I want my favorite channels – National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. I need those channels. As much as I like a good sitcom or drama, or sporting event, I spend more time watching shows on those four networks than all the others combined. And I often find myself buying wildlife documentaries as well. Recently, I actually downloaded the guidelines and information about becoming a licensed field guild in South Africa so I could work with animals. Why I don’t is totally beyond me. Seriously, it’s not as hard or expensive as I first thought …

Anyway, I’ve always had an affinity for animals. I grew up a 4 hour drive from the Rocky Mountains. Every summer I’d spend weeks camping and fishing in the mountains and surrounding foothills and forestry area. I cannot imagine growing up any other way. My first vacation when I moved to the Middle East was a 24 day African safari where I visited four different countries in hopes I’d see all the animals I dreamt of seeing (I didn’t but I since have – except for the honey badger but he’s a bitch to see).

I posted my bucket list a while back, and a lot of the entries revolve around taking photos of animals in their natural environment. And sadly, because mankind are fucking idiots, that might not be possible in a couple of decades. And I’m not pointing fingers at any one race; we’re all guilty of being fucktards in this particular situation. And it bugs the Hell out of me how we call ourselves the superior species!!

I recently watched three different three-part documentaries by the BBC about three different regions – The Amazon, Bhutan, and an island in the South Pacific. Each one dealt with the drastic loss of wildlife as populations exploded or if the natural resources of the area were exploited due to the exploding populations of people, or the ones that really get me furious – the notion that if I sprinkle dust from a dried-out gall bladder from a tiger I’ll have a better hard-on and be increasingly fertile. I don’t get mad often, but this subject really brings out the ire in me.

The Bhutan documentary mentions that over 90% of all tigers in the wild have been killed in the last century, leaving less than 3000 of them in the wild. There are but tiny pockets of them in India now, most confined to reserves, but the reserves aren’t large enough to provide the proper ranges that tigers need to survive and thrive. The hope was that tigers were living in the wild in Bhutan, and living higher up the Himalayas there, so they could construct a “tiger corridor” along the Himalayan nations. The dream of it is good, the reality is probably bleak. As long as people are willing to pay thousands of more dollars for pieces of tigers and other animals than the workers protecting them are being paid, poaching will still happen and numbers will dwindle. And as long as we keep chopping down trees to build condos and shopping malls because mankind is intent on being the only species on the Earth, the natural habitat will continue to shrink.

Yes, this blog sounds awfully preachy. I wanted to just come out and say we are all fucking idiots and leave it at that but that isn’t right either. You know, we’re a sensitive species when it comes to ourselves. You know what else bugs me? When we put down an animal at a zoo or wildlife park because it attacks someone who was being an idiot and fell into the animal’s cage. As far as I’m concerned, that animal did us all a favor by weeding out the bad genes from the gene pool. If he’s dumb enough to climb on an animal’s cage or “cool” enough to pose for that photo while standing on the railing over the animal’s den, I’m sorry, but he’s dumb enough and cool enough to be the “Fucking idiot meets toothy death” headline on all global newspapers the next day.

Yeah, someone must have pissed me off royally today, and instead of screaming, hitting something, or snapping in another way, I vent about how I prefer animals to people on days like this. And let’s be honest here, is one more shopping mall or condominium really worth the extinction of another dozen or so species?

Believe it or not, I’m actually smiling and looking forward to the weekend. I might just avoid big groups of people.

Cheers,

Ger

 

16 thoughts on “Use a Condom, Save a Tiger

  1. We are in a stage that a little increase in the number of tigers in a reserve makes national news.
    And people can be freaking idiots with respect to animals. We were once driving through a reserve to Wayanad at night, where there are clear signs not to put high beam or honk to disturb the animals. We were seeing wild elephants and deer near the roads and as we passed them there came a car with high beam and honking so loudly and not to mention the speed too, we were pissed. Wished that the elephant trampled that driver.

    • I know. I’ve been on several game drives in Africa and people refuse to listen to the guidelines provided by the experts and often find themselves in trouble. And then the game rangers have to come in and kill the animal because it has harmed people. It bugs me to no end.

      We’re supposed to be smart. We’ve made computers, airplanes, can perform open-heart surgery; surely we should be smart enough to follow guidelines that won’t get us or animals killed for no reason!?

      • The situation is the same everywhere I think. In the Western Ghats, if the animals (mostly elephants and may be cheetahs) attack the villages in those mountains, it is killed unless it is smart enough to escape to another place. These people make a big issue out of it how animals are invading the villages etc etc. What they don’t think is that we have invaded their place and have rendered them homeless.

        Are we smart ? We have moved from the idea that these animals also have a home here along with us and we were supposed to co exist, to the assumption that they are expendables. I guess we have come to the conclusion that one animal kind is more than enough for this earth and that is of the social nature.

      • I think we have the capability of smart. Not sure we always follow through though. And sadly, we seem to spend more time figuring out ways to kill, maim, cheat, and swindle each other rather than spending that time searching for ways to help each other and other species. Oh well.

        And this isn’t just an India problem. I hope you don’t think I meant it was. This happens everywhere. I just think tigers are the coolest animal on the planet.

      • No, I did not think you meant it to be an India problem at all. I was giving incidents from here, because this is what I see.

    • Such a shame. This is really the only thing I stand on a soapbox for. But I cannot imagine a life where I couldn’t go to Banff or Jasper National Parks and not have the chance to see bears or moose or deer.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, and for reading my blog.

  2. The title threw me on this article until I read farther down the page. Witty!

    I agree. It’s sickening to see what’s going on around us. Hopefully, someday you’ll be able to become a tour guide, see those beautiful creatures before they are gone, and educate others if it’s your desire. 🙂

    • Most days I as stare at computer at work I think I should just pack it all in and do it. But then I wonder if I’ll be able to take my cats with me and I just can’t fathom not having the little buggers around. Lol.

      • Lol! It would be difficult to leave your cats behind. I have trouble leaving mine when I’m away on vacation.

  3. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to visit the Amazon and the Galapagos, and it’ll be such a tragedy if/when those locations are destroyed. Also, if you don’t already have a post about when/how/why you moved to the Middle East & adapting to the culture, I’d love to read one!

    • Hi Sabina,

      The Galapagos is on my list. I actually saw a photography tour of the Pantanal in Brazil where you try and find jaguars that I would love to do.
      As for the Middle East posts, I could definitely do that. Stay tuned.

  4. Humans are smart, but greed often overrides the common sense…… the greed to look more cool, to be more popular and the greed for that extra bit of cash………. They are my favorites channels too except for when I am being bombarded by shoes touting how cool American guns, tanks, fighter planes are….. then I just change the channel….

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