Cricket star takes time for tigers
Indian cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar has pledged his support for tiger conservation.
The record-breaking batsman said the Indian cricket team supported the cause of the critically endangered species since their numbers in the wild began dropping alarmingly.
"At the start of the century, there were nearly 40,000 tigers in India. Today, that number has shrunk to 1,700 and we are losing at least one tiger a month," he said during a poster signing event in support of tiger conservation on the eve of India's first cricket test against New Zealand.
"When I was growing up, I was told there was an animal called a dinosaur. Tomorrow, we would probably be talking about the tiger in a similar way to our future generations.
"I feel the tiger should be allowed to live without disturbance in the forests. As we have our own homes and territories, the tiger has its territory. We should not disturb its habitat.
"It is in our best interests to ensure that this magnificent animal is not wiped out."
The 35-year-old cricketer signed the Team India tiger banner with a note that read: "Together we can do whatever we can to save the tiger."
Conservationist Praveen Bhargav of protection group Wildlife First said this act would create positive awareness. "It does create positive awareness about tiger conservation," he said.
"If sustained it can result in a change in attitude in a positive way."
But he maintained that celebrity endorsements will not bring major breakthroughs in the conservation effort. "The point is, getting celebrities will not serve the purpose of conservation. However, if they do chip in and the other aspects of the law, government efforts, protection and conservation agencies do their bit, it will have a positive impact."