Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tyger Tyger Burning Bright! They don't eat zebras

The other day I was making up a story for my little girl. I started off with the story of a tiger attacking a zebra.
Image Credit: by anankkml

My son who is an animal aficionado quickly interrupted me. "Amma, but tigers do not eat zebras!"

"Really? I thought they were carnivores. They kill animals to eat them, don't they?" I asked. I was sure he had gotten his facts wrong.

"Well, tigers live only in Asia - in the forests and savannahs of Asia. whereas the zebras live in Africa. So though tigers are carnivores, they do not kill zebras" he explained. That made sense of course.

I had never thought of it that way! 

When I was in college I used to have a huge poster of a tiger in my room. There was an inner strength and confidence that I used to get just by looking at that 3 feet image of this magnificent creature. 

During our visit to the zoo, we read about the threat of extinction that tigers are facing today.  They are poached for their skin and also for claws, teeth etc. that some believe have medicinal value.  The rate at which their numbers have dwindled is very alarming. I get reminded of the dialogue in the movie Bambi.

Young Bambi: What happened, Mother? Why did we all run?
Bambi's Mother: Man was in the forest.

That one line has so much meaning in it. About the amount of havoc man has caused in nature. Sad!

But there have been consistent efforts to increase the tiger numbers in different nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. An article published sometime last year talks about increase in tiger numbers for the first time in a century.

It felt proud to see that India is one of the countries where great efforts are being made for this and which is beginning to show results as well.

I remember a poem "The Tyger" that we had as part of our syllabus by Willam Blake

Tyger Tyger Burning Bright
In the forests of the night

Hope the conservation efforts bear more fruit and let us all do our part in wildlife conservation.


  1. Reminder to you to check the geographical facts before telling stories :) Sometimes I wonder if our children are becoming too grounded in reality and losing the magic of fantasy, which is what childhood should be made of, right? Do try reading out Wizard of Oz to your little daughter when is a little older and tell me how she takes it. The son obviously would question a talking lion and a Scarecrow and Tin Man Or how she reacts to tales from Panchatantra. :D

    1. Today i was in a " why am i writing at all? Let me see if i get atleast one comment " mode and when i saw the first comment was from you i was super happy :D... I once tried telling Snowwhite story and she hated the Mirror Mirror on the wall dialogue

    2. The Wizard of Oz has Dorothy, a little girl as the protagonist and I am sure your little girl would love it!

      I am so glad that my comment made you happy :)

  2. It's so hard to convince kids these days. They are more logical and they need to be. Even mine is. I can't bluff her as much as I used to bluff my son. Thanks to our modern day parenting. On other note, it is impressive to hear Tiger population increasing.

    1. One side is the convincing part. These fellows are exposed to an information overload and so learning is happening in a reverse direction... Child --> Parent :D

  3. Ha ha... reminds me... 'child is the father of a man':)

  4. Very intelligent comment by your son ! And a post for a noble cause. Let humans truly "evolve" to respect all creatures.

  5. Great that you wrote about Save Tiger Project. Modern age children are very well informed and exposed.

  6. Yes, we as a country have put in our efforts in taking care of our big cats. Hope their numbers increase further . Like the bee, tigers are so important