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No haven for the big cats in India

delhi Updated: Jan 16, 2011 23:17 IST
Bharti Chaturvedi
Bharti Chaturvedi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Everyone knows there are very few tigers left in India. But did you also realise there is a crisis about what to do with them as they seek new territory?

In Ranthambore, a tigress, T 13, and her cub moved out of the park because they need their own territory. In Bharatpur, a lone male has wandered in from Ranthambore. The park authorities have to find a new home for it now and they are considering Sariska despite the notoriet associated with it. Remember Sariska had no tigers left a few years ago, and mining lobbies were blamed just recently for poisoning a tiger?

Finding a home for a tiger is tough business. There is not enough space and safety. So the point is — We may all campaign to save the tiger but we are stuck when our wishes begin to come true.

It is essential to start mapping new, inviolate spaces where tigers can live and breed. If there is no such space, we should also realise we can never really save the Tiger.

Blood and Poison

Sometimes, we compare ourselves to our friends and relatives in the US and remark on their “higher standards of living.” A new study warns us to think again.

Based on the blood and urine tests of 268 women, researchers found that between 99 to 100% of the women were exposed to many toxic chemicals.

These included several that are a result of modern life— components of flame retardants (found in computers and some upholstery), chemicals found in non-stick vessels and triclosan, found in anti-bacterial products — exactly the kind of things we associate with modern living.

The problem was exacerbated because 100% of the women were pregnant, making the findings even more serious, because they may have passed on the toxics to their children.

There is no reason for the Indian women to show better results. So at what cost should we seek comfort today? And who is responsible for ensuring our safety?