Simon Clinton’s affinity with tigers started while he was growing up in Malaysia in the early 1970s, and became familiar with the country’s national symbol— the Malayan tiger. This early exposure, along with a passion for conservation issues, stirred the Englishman to set up the global charity initiative Save Wild Tigers in 2011 to protect the world’s tiger population, whose numbers have fallen to critical levels—there are only 3,800 left in the wild.
“For me, the tiger is the most charismatic of all the big cats, intoxicating in its beauty yet facing threats to its very survival. It’s surely one of the planet’s most captivating species, and begs the question: ‘If we can’t save a species as iconic as the tiger, what hope do we have for the rest?’” shares Clinton.
Ironically, humans are the biggest threat to the survival of wild tigers, which are hunted for their skin, bones, and meat—fuelling an illegal wildlife trade worth around £12b every year. Furthermore, wild tigers also suffer from the loss of their natural habitat due to factors such as deforestation set off by rapid urbanization, further increasing the risk of human-animal conflict.
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