Indian Supreme Court Bans Tourism in Tiger Zones in an Attempt to Protect the Wild Cats
Jul 24, 2012 07:15 PM EDT
The Indian Supreme Court has issued a tourism ban in more than 40 government-run tiger reserves, in an attempt to strengthen protection of the endangered wild beast. The interim ban ordered by the nation's apex court is the first of its kind, which prevents any commercial activities in the "core zones" of the Project Tiger Forest.
The order comes as a result of a Public Interest Litigation filed by a conservationalist Ajay Dube who claimed that the tourist and other commercial activities was greatly affecting the breeding of the tigers.
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The ruling was certainly unprecedented and the court has already fined six states for not implementing buffer-zones in the tiger reserves as required by the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Although the fine is an insignificant 10,000 rupees, the court's decision is unprecedented in that it shows a zealous interest at the judicial level to preserve the endangered animal. The states subjected to this fine are Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The court has given states three weeks to implement the ban. The court released a statement saying, "Till final directions of the court, core areas in tiger reserves will not be used for tourism activities...The effect we can see is that tigers are virtually on the verge of extinction. You will only have statistics to count upon." as reported by the Times of India
The tiger, which has a mythical importance to the Hindu culture, is also the nation's national animal. The beautiful beast is on a rapid decline due to illegal poaching and hunting for the animal's valuable fur, teeth and fangs. The black market for the animal seems to be extensive and thriving. According to the 2011 census there are only 1,700 wild tigers left.
More information, including ways of getting involved in the preservation of these wild cats can be found on www.saveourtiger.com