Letter: Save the big cats
On Aug. 9, I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, a world-renowned big cat researcher and CEO of Panthera. Most people around the world only know of big cats from movies, photographs, mascots and zoos. It is widely either assumed or believed that they will forever be in existence in the wild as they have for thousands of years. The reality is that the situation for these animals is dire.
Across the globe, their populations are plummeting as they lose habitat, are poached, trophy hunted and their beautiful fur is used for “fashion.”
These big cats are keystone predators, vital to large ecosystems and crucial to the balance of all species they encounter. The fact that the largest of the big cats, the tiger, has numbers as low as possibly only 3,000 in the wild throughout the world shows the urgency to protect and conserve them.
However, if there is still even one wild big cat left in this world there will always be hope.
Please check out Panthera.org or National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative to learn more and see how you can help. The world will be forever changed for the worse the day lion or tiger roars are silenced forever in the savannas of Africa or jungles of Asia. We, as stewards of the life on this planet, cannot let this happen.