Wax, E. (2007, October 16). Poaching and Population Threaten India's Tigers. The Washington Post. p. A12 [Online]. Available: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/15/AR2007101501674.html?hpid=topnews [2007, October 16].
Development, New Law on Tribal Rights Add to Pressure
poaching; population; India; tigers; poverty; trade; China; tourism; government
With homemade muskets, Lakhan and his brothers tracked one of India's endangered Bengal tigers as it slunk along the forested trails and lakes of Ranthambhore National Park, not far from Lakhan's village. Then, under cover of night, one of them fired a bullet into the chest of the howling cat.
"Hunger," said the wiry Lakhan, pointing to his concave stomach, which was covered by a white lungi, or skirt-like wrap. "That's why I did it. That scenario hasn't changed much. My heart pounds when we kill a tiger. But we have pressures."
Lakhan has killed three tigers in recent years and has been in jail on and off for selling their thick yellow-and-black striped coats, as well as their bones, whiskers and even their glowing amber eyes. Each tiger has fetched him more money than he can earn in six months of farming sesame for its seeds. Lakhan is from the Mogya community, a poaching tribe whose people have hunted the giant felines for centuries here in the northern desert state...