Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

Forest officers to dress like tigers to save wildlife tourism

14, Aug 2014 By MRP

The tiger population in the country as well as in the world is fast dwindling. Thanks to man’s greed, many species of flora and fauna have become extinct already and many more are close to. The most charismatic among them is the tiger. Soon tigers will vanish from the jungles and then from the zoos before they finally vanish from the face of earth. It is expected that tiger based tourism will end and wildlife tourism in general will decline. However, the forest department has other ideas.

Forest officer practicing being tigers
Forest officers practicing being tigers

Wildlife tourism is a money spinner for the forest department. Faced with the prospect of losing a good chunk of revenue, the department has come up with a fall back plan. Sorry, it is not to protect tigers from poachers and let the tiger population grow. But it is to have forest department officials put on tiger costume and inhabit the forests.

The head of the forest department explained the concept. “We have given up on saving the tiger. For every tiger we have in the forest, there are a dozen poachers waiting to trap and kill it, and for every tiger, we have half a person in the department, who also has to protect other animals too among other things. So it is a battle we have already lost.

“However, in order to keep people attracted to the wildlife tourism, we have decided to plant fake tigers in the forests. The department officials will wear tiger costume and live in the forest. The costume will be of such high quality that one will not be able to distinguish between a real tiger and our men. The first batch of officials is already being trained to live, behave and act like tigers. A tourist’s experience will be no less exciting, as even they will not know a fake tiger from a real one. Sighting will then be guaranteed. As an extension of the make believe, we will even have these men in disguise conduct mock attacks on villagers and their cattle once in a while.”

To a question on how they can get so many costume tigers for all the forests, the department’s answer was, “That is not a problem at all. We have enlisted so many volunteers. So far they have been conducting tiger census and awareness building. They will now be listed for this job. We are sure they won’t mind this, for the sake of the tiger. After all, all of us are responsible for this situation.”