The news is extremely positive even if the maths tends to exaggerate it somewhat by claiming a 30 per cent census-on-census increase in the tiger population in the country.
The original base was so low, and diving further, that a real threat of extinction was hanging over the magnificent striped big cats of India. Today, at a count of 2,226 or better, it appears we have done a few things right over the last few years, or at least since the number of these felines became startlingly low — 1,411 in 2006 — and goaded everyone into concerted action.
The fact that India is in a position now to offer tigers to other countries testifies to the sustained efforts of conservationists and foresters, backed by the strong will of governments. The difficulties in the face of increasing man-animal conflicts caused by the crush of a growing human population and denuding of forests, as well as the live threat of poachers for valuable tiger body parts, have been enormous.
Today, tiger enthusiasts can hold their heads high for having campaigned so vigorously to save a valuable species whose health and numbers are said to reflect directly and positively on the whole ecological life cycle on the planet. If the growth trend continues, the fear of losing a historical cohabitant, who has been immortalised in ancient, colonial and the most modern texts to the extent of having become a very prominent part of our folklore, would have faded.