The war continues to claim victims and this makes it necessary to take immediate, drastic actions.
Vladimir Shetinin’s patrol has finally found the poacher’s camp. A rapid inspection shows them the path he took on his hunting expeditions. They are closing in, and the chase is coming to an end.
Across the frozen snow, they make quick progress, and the trained dogs don’t take long to pick up the trail.
Once again, the barking alerts the patrol.
On the ground, beneath the snow, lies a backpack and a gun. Vladimir’s men know what this means. The chase takes a more dramatic turn. The two pellet cartridges of the shotgun have been fired. This can mean just one thing. In these lands, no one abandons his provisions and his weapon. Now, the patrol is looking for a dead body.
A few metres further on, an irregular mound attracts the attention of the men.
The War of the Tiger shows its most dramatic side. The poacher lies beneath a layer of the most recent snowfalls.
Vladimir’s men decipher the last moments of the poacher. The man shot the tiger but did not manage to kill it. Wounded, the tiger attacked him in and, in an act of desperation, the hunter tried to defend himself with his knife.
The first blow must have broken his neck, saving him further suffering. Then, the tiger fled, overcome with fear and the pain of its wound. And that unfortunate shot claimed three victims: the man from the village, the tiger and the poacher himself.
That is the tragedy on the front line of a cowardly war in which the guilty parties hide in the safety of their countries, far away from the territories of the tigers.
New perspectives are opening up in the war to save the tigers from extinction. A new awareness is being created throughout the world and new sources of financing bring fresh hope. But meanwhile, with the human population continuing to increase, and a growing market in tiger bones, the war continues to claim victims and this makes it necessary to take immediate, drastic, determined action; there is no time to waste.
Battles are being won, but for the time being the worldwide situation of the tigers continues to get worse.
The tiger continues to lose in this war.
While awareness is being raised and alternatives generated for the future, the front line of action needs the financial backing that will enable it to continue halting the massacre. The potential market of traditional Chinese medicine is almost one billion consumers. Those that profit from it are almost always untouchable. But in the line of fire we all lose. The tigers lose, the local people lose and the poachers who risk their lives to obtain the minimum that will enable their families to live with dignity also lose.
Despite all the efforts, all the subspecies of tiger continue inexorably down the path towards extinction.
And the battle is far from over.
Perhaps in the world we are creating there is no room for the power, the greatness and the freedom of this lord of the jungle. But for many people, the world, and mankind itself would suffer an irreplaceable loss if we were to lose these magnificent felines forever.