JV and THE BIG CATS


Home

Mission

Founder: John Varty

Tiger Canyons
Tiger Experiment
Invest in Tigers
Tiger Canyons tigers

Tiger Anatomy

Tourism

Volunteers
Merchandise
Research
JV Image Library
JV's Music

JV's Films

Poaching

Tiger Conservation

Tiger Subspecies

Tiger Newsletters

Tiger Photo Gallery

Contact us


 

 


Select newsletter in right column


Newsletter 49
18/11/11

Let Our Pictures Do The Talking


Chuffing Tigers - cover of book

Image from "Chuffing Tigers"

Image from "Chuffing Tigers"

Letter from Sudhi Prahllada to JV:

Dear JV

I happened to visit your website and I appreciate your interest and efforts in saving Wild Tigers. I just finished going through the "Volunteers" section.  I fully agree with you that tigers are highly endangered and countries like India is doing everything it could to save the last remaining tigers.

Even though, your intentions are clear, the methods suggested by you for saving tigers are not correct.  I would like to express my opinion on some of the methods suggested by you for saving tigers. I have quoted some of the points raised by you and my take on these points. 

1. JV: "Lakshmi Mittal the Indian tycoon, is the fifth richest man in the world. He has acquired his wealth from steel, yet not a single tiger park in India is fenced. How is this possible? 

At the same time there are dozens of examples of parks in Africa which are fenced and successfully contain large cats like lion, leopard and cheetah. At Tiger Canyons we have successfully run tigers side by side with domestic stock by using electric fences. 

When I ask the Indian authorities why they don't fence their parks, they say there is no budget. Yet India is spending billions of dollar an developing nuclear weapons. How is it that they can't find a budget to separate the human and the domestic stock from the tigers? Is war more important than saving a magnificent creature like the tiger? "

My View: First of all, it should be clearly understood that tigers are landscape animals and fencing national parks would only prevent their dispersal.  You have not told why fencing is required.  Can you please give the details on the area of Tiger Canyon.  

2. "JV: The second step is to privatize the parks. Get them into the hands of private enterprise. Take the conservation of tigers out of the hands of the government. Follow the South African model where the private enterprise owns more wildlife than the South African government. It's the private enterprise that is expanding land for wildlife by 300,000 hectares per years. 

Therefore to all Indian people who correspond with me, I say study successful models elsewhere and then create pressure for change in India. 

Hotel groups in India that rely on tourism, should be encouraged to acquire land which is fenced and stocked with suitable prey. Then the tigers can be introduced and controlled ecotourism developed. Once again South Africa has good examples in its private lodges.  "

My view: How does privatization help conserve wildlife. Are place like Serengeti, Masai Mara privatized?. The size of the African wildlife reserves are huge, something in the range of 10000 square kilometers, where as an average Indian tiger reserve may measure up to 500 square kilometer. So, models which are applicable for Africa are not suitable for India.  Is there any scientific proof that privatization has helped Africa? If so lion numbers should have increased in privatized game reserves.  It is well understood that conservation requires In-situ solutions and not ready made/ordered "ELSE WHERE" models.

The main reason for decline in tiger numbers is prey depletion. What do you mean when you say "stocked with suitable prey"? Are you suggesting running domesticated tiger farms. You cannot run "PREY Farms" so that later prey can be introduced into tiger farms so that tigers can prey on them.  Is there any scientific evidence to show that forest area cover in South Africa is increasing ? When you say Hotel groups should acquire land, what sort of land and where is the land? Hardly 3% of India's land is left for wildlife. Is it possible to create natural Eco systems/habitats for tigers by buying agricultural lands. 

3. JV: "Approach your local zoos and encourage them to acquire land for wild tigers. There is an estimated 45,000 tigers in captivity world wide. Encourage your zoos to do ex-situ conservation projects with wild tigers. Putting a tiger in a cage is "old think", encourage the zoos to go for wild populations of tigers. "

My View: I rubbish your idea of zoos acquiring land for WILD TIGERS and trying to introduce 45 000 CAPTIVE TIGERS. It sound very funny!!! Are you suggesting that all captive tigers should be trained to hunt and then later released into privatized artificial natural Eco system which contain DOMESTICATE WILD PREY?

I suggest you first understand tiger's ecology and then then try these "ELSE-WHERE' model approach.


JV's response to letter:

Sudhi Prahllada: "First of all, it should be clearly understood that tigers are landscape animals and fencing national parks would only prevent their dispersal". 

 
JV: Answer
 
You don't have any landscape. Your population is officially 1.2 billion (other say 1.4 billion). Your parks, or what's left of them, are surrounded by people and domestic stock. The parks are unfenced, so you have conflict between tigers and humans on a daily basis. You are 200 years too late for your landscape scenario. Your tigers are competing with 320 people per square kilometer. 

Sudhi Prahllada: "How does privatization help conserve wildlife?"

 
JV: Answer
 
South Africa's private enterprise is converting 300,000 hectares a year to wildlife. Governments are notoriously slow to react. Private enterprise acts as the catalyst and when it is a success, Governments follow.
 
Every year in South Africa white rhino, black rhino, sable antelope, roan antelope flow from Government parks into the hands of private individuals because the Government knows it makes good economic sense and the private enterprise will protect it.
 
A private individual just paid R9 million for a 48 inch disease free buffalo bull. This is private enterprise at its very best doing creative conservation. The same can be done with the tiger in the hands of private individuals.
 
Your third question answers your first question 

Sudhi Prahllada: "Hardly 3% of Indian land is left for wildlife".

 
Has it occurred to you that if you had private enterprise, this number may be a lot higher. If it is 3%, and I believe it is, then your Government has failed dismally to protect your wildlife and by extension the tiger.
 
So what you should be doing, is finding a way for Lakshmi Mittal and others to invest in wildlife and tigers. They will only invest if it makes money.
 
Richard Branson is my neighbour near Londolozi and he has invested in wildlife because it makes money. 

Sudhi Prahllada: "I rubbish your idea of zoos acquiring land for wild tigers"

 
JV: Answer:
 
There are many examples of the Frankfurt Zoo, the New York Zoological Society, the Toronto Zoo and the London Zoo supporting wild projects in different countries.
 
What I'm suggesting is instead of investing in "old think" like putting tigers in cages, the zoos should invest in land for tigers which is fenced and then stocked with suitable prey and then run commercially.
 
Now they can run the land like we run Londolozi Game Reserve on a multi use basis using tourism, wildlife films, communication, social upliftment, job creation and education programmes into the surrounding community.
 
In short, you invest the local community in the tiger like we have invested our community in the leopard. You run your park on a profitable basis and this is the first step to protecting and saving the tiger. 

Sudhi Prahllada: "So models which are applicable for Africa are not suitable for India".

 
JV: Answer
 
You must know by now that your Government has set you on a path which has no chance of saving the wild tiger. Your conservation officials in India have failed to learn from the African examples. Lion, Leopard, cheetah have all been introduced back into Pilanesberg, Madikwe, Welgefonden and many private parks. All these areas were once farm land and we now pulsating with prey and predator and tourists.
 
The same can be done with the Tiger.
 
JV Summary:
 
In the beginning of your E-mail you say "I appreciate your interest and efforts to save the wild Tigers". Thank you for this encouraging comment.
 
Unfortunately as your E-mail continues, the questions and comments become confused and your frustration and ignorance become apparent.

Sudhi Prahllada: "I suggest your first understand tiger ecology"

 
JV Answer:
 
I am not the enemy. Loss of home range, loss of prey in the face of 1.4 billion people all trying to survive, is the enemy. Your Governments inability, to save the tigers is the enemy. Corrupt Government forestry officials  involved in poaching is the enemy. The arrogance of your Government officials and their inability to learn from success's in other countries is the enemy. Your failure to invest communities on the side of the parks in the tiger is the enemy. Your lack of political will and your inflexibility is the enemy.
 
Visiting Tiger Canyons are now many tourist that used to go to India. They are now unable to get a decent pictures of a tiger in India, so they are spending the money at Tiger Canyons in South Africa.
 
They fly in planes, they hire cars, they stay in hotels, they come to see, photograph and be inspired by the tiger. This is income that should be flowing to India, but it's not, it's coming to South Africa.
 
Finally I suggest you move out from behind your computer, go and study same examples that work and then try to implement those examples in India. Good Luck!
 
LET OUR PICTURES DO THE TALKING
All Images from "Chuffing Tigers"

 
So to something more positive. Some time ago I said in a newsletter that we must let our pictures do the talking.

Jos and Yvette van Bommel 


Jos & Yvette Van Bommel have produced the most stunning book called "Chuffing Tigers". The pictures all taken at Tiger Canyons are breathtaking. Tigers swimming, play fighting, in rocks and reeds, every page is an exciting new discovery.

 
Every person interested in cats and the plight of the tiger should have this book.

 
Susanne Baden has also produced a beautiful pictorial record of her many trips to Tiger Canyons.
 
Contact Sunette if you would like a copy of these 2 books - info@jvbigcats.co.za
 
The photographic competition has received many beautiful pictures. I have seen some and they are absolutely stunning. For those who have not yet entered, you have until the 15th of November to enter.
 
Due to the success of this competition, next year's competition will be the big 4 cats. You will be invited to enter a picture of a lion, a leopard, a cheetah and a tiger. Each picture will score points which will be totaled and the winner will again win a Big Cat Safari. Details will reach you in the New Year.
 
Tiger Canyons is producing its first calendar entitled "Tigresses". Many beautiful pictures have been captured with ladies posing with Julie, Zaria and Shine. What fun we have had making the calendar.
 
If you would like to be in the calendar, contact Sunette
 
If you are too small to pose with the tigers, we will photoshop you into the picture. Therefore one to a hundred is our age limit for the calendar. All proceeds of the calendar will go to Tiger Conservation.
 
Tigers have been seen several times while guests were having breakfast on the platform. We are hoping that "Breakfast with a Tiger" will become a regular occurrence.

Shadow, Tiger Boy and Shy Boy are free ranging in the new area and rapidly diminishing the prey.

 
Shadow was seen mating with Tiger Boy and Shy Boy alternately. I have only seen this once before with two male lions at Londolozi who were brothers and very compatible. Tiger Boy and Shy Boy are both vasectomised, so no offspring will result.
 
Tiger Boy is the only wild born wild raised tiger that will regularly greet me with the chuffing sound. I regard it as privilege to be greeted by this wild male tiger.
 
The Swamp Male (Sariska) recently did an interesting thing. When challenged by Seatao and Julie, he backed down an antbear hole to protect his rear end. When Julie and Seatao came near him, he swatted them and eventually they lost interest in the fight.
 
Leopard Queen, the film about Manana the famous leopard who lived to nearly 17 years at Londolozi, has come second at the Jackson Hole Film Convention in the USA. If anyone would like a copy, they should contact Sunette.
 
Finally I have a questions for you which I cannot answer. "Why do Tigers reverse into the water?" Please give me your ideas.
 
Tread lightly on the Earth
JV

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


Newsletter 145
20/05/17
King Corbett

Newsletter 144
08/05/17
Hunting versus Non Hunting

Newsletter 143
14/03/17
If it Pays, it Stays

Newsletters 142
14/02/17
Best Photographs at
Tiger Canyons

Newsletters 141
16/01/17
Lady Hunters

Newsletter 140
10/12/16
Londolozi and Love

Newsletter 139
23/11/16
Life is Not Fair

Newsletter 138
17/11/16
The Trump Card

Newsletter 137
22/10/16
Most Admired People on the Planet

Newsletters 136
13/10/16
Captive vs Wild

Newsletter 135
08/10/16
To trade  or not To Trade

Newsletter 134
08/08/16
A Defining Moment

Newsletter 133
08/07/16
I Have Lost A Friend

Newsletter 132
13/05/16
The World is Changing

Newsletter 131
08/04/16
Icon Cats

Newsletter 130
31/03/16
Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
28/11/15
Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
12/11/15
Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
28/10/15
The Break Out

Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
Tiger Boma


Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust