What is Episode 65 all about?
Pretty much any time we hear about tiger crime, whether it be poaching, consuming tiger parts, or owning pet tigers, an Asian country is to blame. We commonly see headlines that demonize China, Vietnam, Russia, and others for their known roles in wildlife crime. However, as shows like Tiger King and related spinoffs have demonstrated, the United States is a huge player in the illegal wildlife trade with a massive tiger problem of its own. Today we’re turning the leans and spotlighting Western countries’ involvement in tiger crime.
To teach us about this issue, in this episode we’re sitting down with Sarika Khanwilkar, founder of the non-profit Wild Tiger, a PhD student at Columbia University, and a tiger expert. Sarika discovered her passion for tigers during an internship studying human-tiger conflict in central India through TRACT, a well-known tiger conservation organization led by her aunt and uncle. She returned to the US a changed woman and decided to dedicate her life to tiger conservation. In keeping with that theme, Sarika recently published a paper examining the US’ role in the illegal trade of tiger parts, and oh my, is it interesting. Sarika teaches us all about the illegal tiger trade in the US, the conservation of wild tigers in India, and the actions we can take to protect this phenomenal cat.
Alright, let’s get to today’s episode with Sarika.
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Links & Resources
Research Paper About Tiger Crime
Khanwilkar, S., Sosnowski, M., & Guynup, S. (2022). Patterns of illegal and legal tiger parts entering the United States over a decade (2003–2012). Conservation Science and Practice, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.622
Big Cat Safety Act
H.R.211 – Big Cat Public Safety Act: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/211?s=1&r=29
Organizations Mentioned in the Episode
Last Wilderness Foundation: http://thelastwilderness.org/
Jackson Wild: https://www.jacksonwild.org/
Shows Mentioned in the Episode
Tiger King: https://www.netflix.com/title/81115994
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