The striped wildcat, on its last leg.

I am the most ferocious yet majestic species of the cat family. I am known for my spectacular orange-brown fur and dark stripes. I prefer to live in my boundary, and I don't prefer uninvited guests. Hence I mark my territory using my pee and claw. I love swimming.

Being an individualist, I hunt my food alone when it's dark. Thankfully, I am nocturnal. I am a big-time food lover, deer and wild pigs are my favourites. Did you know? That damn deers are clearing off the forest pretty quickly. I love tree cover, so I hunt them down. When I am in a mood for some acupuncture, I prefer eating porcupines.

While the humans' population is skyrocketing, my population has been reducing drastically. My people are killed for their fur and so-called medicines. While we are trying our best to protect our only home, the forest, humans are cutting down all the trees. I guess they don't realize they cannot live without the forest.

Guess what? There are less than 7000 of us, including myself, who are living in this whole world. I think this is crazy, while there are 7.7 billion humans.

Luckily countries like India, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and Russia are making efforts to protect our home. Our population is slightly growing.

Here is a sketch of my friend, Santhosh. He loves my community and me. He wants our roar to last forever.

I am a basic need.

Happy International Tiger Day! Remember, without us; there is no forest. Without the forest, there is no life, including human life.

"Without the tiger, India would not just lose its spirit but also its hope of survival in an era of climate change."

- Bittu Sahgal, an environmental activist, writer, and the founder of Sanctuary Nature Foundation


About the Author:

Santhosh Basavaraj is Vyugam's Sustainable Supply Chain & Project Management specialist. He is an avid traveller and a forest-friendly coffee lover. He is passionate about water conservation, social welfare, and environmental sustainability in general.

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