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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lions, Tigers and TIGERS! Oh My!

Taking a break

Power and grace combine themselves in human form only rarely. And when they do, we always sit up and take note. In the arts, you have the voice of Billie Holiday, the sax of Miles Davis, the music of Mozart, and the tango of Buenos Aires. In baseball, nobody combined those better than the Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams. Michael Jordan on the court, Muhammed Ali in the ring, and Michael Phelps in the pool clearly possessed both of those attributes. In the world of golf, until recently, you had a dichotomy, with grace personified by Arnie, and power by Jack. Today, you have Tiger demonstrating both.

Which brings us to the species that displays power and grace more majestically than any human probably ever will: India’s Royal Bengal tiger. A mere century ago, they numbered in the tens of thousands. Today, courtesy of man’s arrogance, greed, and short-sightedness, they number just over a thousand, and dropping steadily.

The main threats to the tiger are poaching and loss of habitat due to the pressure of increased population on the land. Some might ask, “So what if we lose the tiger? It won’t make any difference in my everyday life.” By losing the very symbol of power, grace, and self-assuredness, we would demean the diversity of life on this planet and put another nail in the coffin of the world’s increasingly fragile ecosystem. If the world becomes tigerless, humanity will have failed one of its required subjects.

Our new Tiger Tiger program in India is more than just a tiger safari. It is a journey to understand the heart of this magnificent creature, its jungle environment, its fragility as a species, and humanity’s role in both creating that fragility and its ability to reverse that course. We will introduce you, whether or not you actually see a tiger in the wild, to this delicate and exquisite ecosystem and its acknowledged ruling monarch. We will also introduce you to some of the people and institutions who are risking their lives to ensure that future generations will be able to experience this very symbol of grace and power, a glimpse of which can put us mere humans in touch with that deepest part of our own spirit.

~Steve Conlon
Above The Clouds

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Royal Bengal Tiger
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