Rescuing a Sumatran tiger

Here’s a statistic that’s sad to contemplate: there are only about 3500 wild tigers of all sorts left on Earth. According to Wikipedia, the Sumatran subspecies Panthera tigris sondaica is down to between 449 and 679 individuals, and is listed as critically endangered. Poaching for bones, skin, hair, teeth, claws, and even feces (all used in “traditional medicine”) is a major cause of population decline.

This  25-minute video, made by the big-cat rescue organization Panthera (in association with GoPro) is a remarkably engrossing and well photographed story of the rescue of Muli, a single female Sumatran tiger cub. She was saved, treated for a wound, and eventually released back in the wild. Her story is embedded in a disgusting narrative about tiger poaching in Southeast Asia but also in a hearting tale of Panthera’s attempts to saving this magnificent cat. There’s also a sub-story of a poacher who, after serving four years in jail for his crime, became part of the tiger rescue team.

The video’s notes:

When Muli, a wild tiger in Sumatra, is rescued by the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, she brings together scientists, conservationists and poachers in this story of survival. Muli is one of 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the world. The entire tiger population is on the brink of extinction because of poachers who sell their skins and bones, and the illegal market which consumes them.

Be sure to enlarge this and watch it on the biggest screen you have. And do note that there are some disturbing clips of wild tigers caught in snares.

Panthera gets a maximum of four stars out of four on Charity Navigator, and a score of 95.8 out of 100. GoPro will match your donation to Panthera. If you have a few bucks to give, this is a reputable and dedicated organization, and they need help. Their goal is a million dollars, and they’re already more than halfway there. You can donate here (I just did).  Here’s how the money is used:

We put your gift to work in the field to turn the tide for imperiled cats:

$25 removes a poacher’s wire snare
$50 feeds an anti-poaching unit hot meals for a week
$100 provides a day of anti-poaching ranger training
$500 puts a PoacherCam in the field to help identify and arrest criminals



  1. Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink


    • rickflick
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes, sad. But don’t give up hope. There efforts of thousands of people is making a difference. Send Panthera a few bucks and be a part of the solution.

      • Posted December 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        I’m already helping the the last three northern white rhinos.
        I fear money wouldn’t help either case. The people that created the demand need to stop.

  2. Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid it is a lost cause, as are all attempts to help wild populations of most large mammals. Our grandchildren will only see them in zoos, if at all.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Wrong. The work of Panthera and other preservation groups is making a huge impact. Don’t give up.

  3. Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  4. rickflick
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    A good friend of mine is an electronics engineer who works for Panthera. His job is to help design camera systems to catch poachers who exploit tigers and other rare species. He works diligently to build cameras which can withstand harsh jungle environments and transmit images back to authorities and trained enforcement teams in India, Africa and South America. Every time I see him I ask how things are going and he proudly explains the advances they are making in building systems which can and do save rare animals. I am happy to say that the efforts he and others are making are beginning to turn the tide. The cameras have evolved from rather failure prone prototypes with little range of transmission to robust systems of cameras and transmission towers that allow rapid response teams to react quickly when animals are being threatened. My friend is frequently sent abroad to exotic locations to help install and test new systems which gives rise to quite extraordinary adventures. Please do help Panthera save the tigers…

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I threw in $200. My wife gives to dozens of animal charities.

      • rickflick
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Interesting that animals sometimes bring out the best in Homo sapiens. 😎

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted December 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and I worry about these good charities with this stupid tax bill they are doing.

      • Posted December 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        That’s lovely of you–thanks!

    • KD33
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Great to hear, and very helpful, and good on your friend. It’s always good to see technology and innovation used for a good cause like this.

  5. Mehul Shah
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Made a recurring donation. Thanks.

  6. KD33
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a great cause and charity. Worth noting the CEO makes $400,000. How can this be possible at a non-profit??

  7. Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Just donated and re-posted on FB. Thanks for the tip.

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