How to Help Save Tigers

Two Methods:Using Your Money WiselyTaking Action

Tigers are the largest cat species in the world. With their majestic stripes and beautiful eyes, they are also some of the most captivating creatures on the planet. Sadly, poaching and deforestation have caused their population numbers to dwindle to a dangerously low count of roughly 3,200 left in the wild. There are many organizations fighting to save these beautiful creatures. Scroll down to Step 1 to learn how you too can do your part to help save tigers.

Method 1
Using Your Money Wisely

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    Donate to a tiger research fund. The easiest way to join the effort to save tigers is to donate your money to one (or several) of the various organizations specifically dedicated to saving wildlife. There are many organizations out there so it is really important to do your homework before you choose one to donate to--sadly, there are plenty of scams out there that take advantage of the plight of the tigers. Some of the better known organizations that have their own tiger programs include:
    • Panthera (United with the Save the Tigers Fund)[1]
    • World Wildlife Fund
    • Smithsonian Tiger Conservation Fund
    • International Fund for Animal Welfare
    • Big Cat Rescue
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    ”Adopt” a tiger. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) runs an “adopt” a tiger program. You can fund a tiger and the work the WWF is doing to help tigers in the wild by making a monthly payment. In addition to knowing that you are helping this special creature, you also receive a photo and information card of the tiger you are helping to save, along with several other items, including a stuffed animal version of your tiger. Your money will go towards creating reserves for tigers, protection from poachers, and other WWF conservation work.[2]
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    Buy products from sustainable companies. One of the major reasons tigers are endangered is because their home is being destroyed. Illegal logging and forest clearing are destroying the habitat that tigers live in, causing them to become displaced without enough food or land to sustain themselves. One way that you can help is by purchasing your goods from companies that only implement sustainable practices. Purchase 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Look for paper and wood products that are approved by the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The goal of the FSC is to improve forest practices (and therefore end deforestation) around the world.[3]
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    Buy sustainable coffee. One major source of deforestation comes from the coffee industry. The next time you are purchasing some java, look for a brand that is sustainable--this means that they do not condone the practice of deforestation. Sustainable brands will have a certification on the box from an independent certifier like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or UTZ Certified.
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    Do not purchase tiger products. Poaching is the number one threat to tigers. Poachers hunt these beautiful creatures illegally--so much so that there are now only an estimated 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Never buy tiger products, either in your own country or while traveling abroad. Do not buy any traditional medicine that is made from tiger parts, such as tiger bone. Traditional Chinese medicine called for the use of tiger bone, and today many chemists still use tiger bone, even though it is illegal and a main part of the reason tigers are endangered.[4]
    • You can sign an online pledge stating that you will never buy tiger products.

Method 2
Taking Action

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    Volunteer or intern at a tiger sanctuary. There are many sanctuaries and reserves that accept volunteers and interns around the world. These volunteers help to maintain the grounds, observe the animals, and perform other various chores and tasks. In some places, volunteers can lead tours of the grounds and talk about the tigers with visitors. Run an internet search along the lines of ‘volunteer at a tiger sanctuary’ and explore the options.[5]
    • Some of the most prominent sanctuaries that accept volunteers include the National Tiger Sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, and through a GoEco program.
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    Travel to a tiger reserve. Tiger reserves--which are large plots of the tigers’ native land that has been specifically designated for the tigers’ use--rely on the income from tourism to help pay for part of their expenses. Tourism also brings money to the area where the reserve is located, which in turn inspires support for the reserve from the local community. Of course, visiting a tiger reserve means flying to places like India or Nepal. If you have the ability to do so, then while you are there you should join a tour operated by the park service of the country. Do some research on the tour company before you fly off to visit the tiger reserve or national park.
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    Attend fundraising events. Organizations put on fundraising events to help garner support and money for their efforts in protecting the tiger and other wildlife. You can participate, or even help run, these events in your area. Run an internet search to find out if there are any events happening in your area.[6]
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    Support legislation regarding the health and survival of tigers. In the United States, write to your U.S. Representative, asking her or him to support the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 1998/S. 1381). There is an online letter that you can send--all you need to do is fill out your specific information. You will find this drafted letter [| here]. Organizations dedicated to the preservation and rightful treatment of big cats have called on Congress to pass the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 1998/S. 1381).[7] The Act calls for:
    • An amendment to the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, effectively ending the private breeding of big cats like tigers (as well as lions, leopards, cheetahs, etc). It is estimated that over 10,000 big cats are kept in bad conditions throughout the United States--at one privately owned zoo alone, 23 tiger cubs died in 2013 because of their poor living conditions.[8]
    • Penalties for violators of the Act. If someone is abusing or badly mistreating their animals, the Act calls for up to $20,000 in fines and a jail sentence of up to five years, during which time the animals would be confiscated and rehabilitated.
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    Limit your zoo visits to only zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Zoos that are participating in an AZA Species Survival Plan are also good zoos to visit. There are currently 223 zoos and aquariums around the world that meet the AZA’s strict requirements. These zoos keep their animals, including their tigers, in excellent living conditions, and are doing what they can to support the healthy breeding of animals on the endangered list. For a list of accredited zoos and aquariums that you can visit or donate to, visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums [| website.][9]
    • These accredited zoos are not the only place that treat their animals well. You can also visit wildlife sanctuaries that do not let visitors handle their animals and do not participate in breeding. There are also wildlife rehabilitators, universities working on establishing wild animals, and some traveling circuses that meet all of the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. If you are not sure of the status of a zoo or wildlife area you are hoping to visit, run an internet search on the institution.[10]
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    Sign the petition to save 30 Hills. 30 Hills, known as Bukit Tigapuluh in the native Indonesian language, is an area in Sumatra that is very special--it is one of the last places left in the world where tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist. It is currently under threat of deforestation--an act that will irreversibly hurt the animal populations of the area. The petition asks the Indonesian government to lease the area out to conservation organizations. To sign the petition, click [| here.]
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    Stay informed. The best way to keep on top of the news regarding the work being done to help save tigers is by signing up for newsletters through various wildlife, and specifically tiger, protection organizations. Most organizations have a monthly e-newsletter that you can receive via email that will update you on the new challenges being faced, as well as the steps being taken, and the victories being won.
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    Spread awareness through social media. Encourage others to support the efforts being made to save the tigers. Social media is a very handy tool for this--post links to interesting articles about the plight of the tigers, spread word about petitions that your friends and family can sign, and follow your favorite tiger organizations on Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other various platforms out there.


  • Teach your kids about the importance of protecting wildlife, including tigers.
  • If you are in a position to do so, consider applying for a job at the organization you belong to in an effort to make even more of a change in the lives of tigers.

Article Info

Categories: Animal Welfare Activism