March 31, 2020
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Belinda Wright

The executive director, Wildlife Protection Society of India, conferred with the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award 2005, speaks on troubled tigerlands.

Belinda Wright
Belinda Wright
You spurn awards. Was it the unaffordable Carl Zeiss binocs that finally tempted you?
Definitely. My present ones are about 30 years old!

Seriously, how long do India's tigers have?
At this rate, we'll soon be left with isolated populations in a few large tiger reserves.

How do we prevent more Sariskas?
Good leadership. Protection and support will follow.

And in enforcement terms?
A multi-agency, well-equipped central wildlife crime unit along with specialised wildlife courts.

A three-point conservation plan?
Protection, management and a scientific information base.

Species most wanted by the illegal trade?
All those valued by the illegal trade are at risk—the tiger, leopard, rhino, bear, musk deer, otter, freshwater turtles and a number of insects and plants.

On having the sunflowr, rather than the tiger, as India's logo at a travel meet.
We should be brave enough to use our brand image, the tiger, and admit to the world that we know there's a problem but that we're dealing with it.

Your greatest wild moment?
A stormy moonlit night in Orissa when sea turtles came out to nest. And a tigercub jamming its head into its ma's yawning mouth two weeks ago.

What gives you strength to persevere?
My passion for wild India and the tiger.

Your innermost torment?
I simply cannot accept that we'll knowingly lose so much to the greed of a few. Caring people, like our prime minister, cannot let this happen.

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