Winter, then Drought Ahead?

A male royal bengal tiger known as the Arharia male is sitting in a Tigers4Ever waterhole, in bandhavgarh national park, India
The Arharia male sitting in a Tigers4Ever Waterhole

Thank you for your continued support as we fight to give more wild tigers a wild future. The monsoon rains have now made way for some unseasonably cold weather in Bandhavgarh as the impacts of climate change continue to present us with new challenges each day. Our team in India has told us that they have never experienced an October quite so cold in their lives, so winter uniforms for our anti-Poaching Patrols are already in use.

We have some good news too, after months of delays due to early monsoon rainfall, unstable roads and COVID’s delta variant, we are ready to complete the work at the Mahaman waterhole next week. This is a very important large seasonal wildlife waterhole is used by at least eight tigers, wild elephants and countless other animals. Very soon, this will become a permanent wildlife waterhole thanks to your help, as we complete the installation of a solar powered borewell pump system and soak away channels. This will pump water to the surface from underground channels which reduces water loss due to evaporation as cool water is constantly pumped into the waterhole with any excess returning to the underground streams via soak away systems, which in turn provides more water when needed. We’re delighted to say that this work will be completed before the onset of the hot weather and accompanying drought season in the New Year.

Our minds have already turned to our next waterhole project, after all we did hope to complete the Mahaman waterhole in 2020-21 but were hampered by the COVID pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions before the weather decided to challenge us too. We’re just £2000 (US$2800) short of being able to complete another similar project at seasonal waterhole (or £6500 (US$9230) short of target to build a large waterhole with solar pump system at a new location). Given the current situation worldwide, we’re hoping to raise the £2000 (US$2800) by the end of December 2021 and will defer the larger project to give us more time to raise the necessary funds. If you feel able to help, this Giving Tuesday (30 November 2021) our friends at GlobalGiving are giving us the chance to gain a share of US$1million in bonus matched funds on the day; so it’s a great time to donate because whatever you donate online on the day is sure to be worth more and will have a greater impact: https://goto.gg/34315.

Coming Full Circle

Way back in 2007, two of the Tigers4Ever Co-Founders: myself (Corinne) and David Taylor-Smith encountered a young male tiger, pictured below, sitting by the side of the road in the early morning sunlight. At the time, they didn’t know that this young 22 month old sub-adult tiger would grow to be Bandhavgarh’s largest Alpha male with his territory spanning all four core areas of the national park. This was the young Bamera, a majestic and fearless tiger. What we did know was that without water, the chances of this young tiger and many others like him surviving to adulthood were slim. On our return to the UK, we were determined to make a difference for this young tiger. How hard could it be to raise £10500 (US$14910) to build a permanent waterhole for wild tigers? After all, everybody loves tigers; they are the world’s favourite animal, etc. Well it was a lot harder than we had imagined. After almost 3 years of trying to raise the funds to get another charity to build the waterhole and failing, we decided with Naomi, Steve and Andy to establish Tigers4Ever, in June 2010, and complete the quest ourselves. We had a few hiccups along the way, but eventually we raised sufficient funds for our first waterhole (of 8) for wild tigers.

Our first project was at the Arharia waterhole where our solar pump system delivered year round water in an otherwise parched area of the forest, more importantly at least 5 tigers benefitted immediately. The Arharia male, son of Bamera the tiger we had seen back in 2007, was one of the tigers to benefit. He is pictured above in one of the manmade waterholes filled by our solar pump system. A doting father to his tiny cubs, he would spend hours even days in the territory whilst their mother was away hunting or taking a break. When tragedy struck and the cubs’ mother was poached, our waterholes helped to save the lives of the 3 young cubs and ensure that they reached adulthood. Arharia went on to produce many more cubs including four with the famous tigress, Solo (BBC Tiger Dynasties made her famous), who became Arharia’s favourite tigress after the death of Kankati II. Despite finding new females to mate, Arharia always liked to spend time relaxing in the Tigers4Ever waterholes, he even added our waterholes in the Rajbehra territory to his widening domain.

It wasn’t unusual for Arharia to be seen in any of seven waterholes filled by Tigers4Ever Solar borewell pump systems, Royal (Bengal Tiger) seal of approval for our work indeed. The legacy we had planned for the young Bamera is providing safe water and habitat for his offspring and grandchildren too. Yesterday, we received the sad news that Arharia, also known locally in Bandhavgarh as Bamera’s son, had died. At almost eleven years old, he wasn’t the oldest of wild tigers but his demeanour hadn’t been the same since the death of Solo and two of his cubs last year. He had recently recovered from a broken leg; sustained in a territorial fight with a younger would be alpha male challenger, so we had hoped for a few more years and cubs. Sadly it wasn’t to be, another territorial fight proved one too many and Arharia lay down in his jungle home for the last time as his life ebbed away. We will always remember him fondly, like we do his father Bamera, but at the same time we know that we must keep fighting, with your help, for those tigers which remain and the descendants of Bamera and Arharia yet to be born.

Giving Tuesday

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, we hope that it will be a joyous, peaceful and healthy occasion this year. We know that it marks the start of events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday too. We hope this year on Giving Tuesday you will help us to give wild tigers the gift of life with a donation at: https://goto.gg/34315 so we can start work to provide permanent water for wild tigers at a tenth location in Bandhavgarh too. Remember that your gift on Giving Tuesday will have a greater impact however large or small because it helps us to gain bonus matched funding from GlobalGiving’s Share a US$1million fund, thank you.

More permanent wildlife waterholes are essential to prevent future tiger-tiger and human-animal conflicts, which arise from increased wild tiger numbers, and better cub survival rates. With more than 41 tiger cubs born during the pandemic, (which is 4 more tigers than were counted in total in Bandhavgarh’s Tiger Census (37 tigers) in 2010 when Tigers4Ever started working in Bandhavgarh) we need to do everything we can to prevent more wild tiger deaths. One waterhole is nowhere near enough to reduce the conflict caused by wild tigers encroaching on the territories of others and humans, so we need your help to be able to do at least one more waterhole too, before it is too late for the wild tigers and other wildlife:  https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/water-for-bandhavgarhs-tigers/. With your help, we can raise enough money to start work on another waterhole which will benefit another 10 wild tigers including cubs too.

You Can Help us to Make a Huge Difference Right Now

This year GlobalGiving is pledging a 100% bonus in matched funds on new monthly donations which are continued for at least 4 months. So now really is the time to give monthly, if you can, to make the most of your donation! https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/water-for-bandhavgarhs-tigers/?show=recurring.

We need to raise £2000 (US$2800) to start work at the new waterhole site, so if just 100 of our supporters each donate US$28 (£20) this month we’ll raise enough to start work as soon as the cold weather allows, saving the lives of at least 10 more wild tigers in the process https://goto.gg/34315.

Our Challenges Ahead

We need to quadruple our efforts to keep wild tigers safe right now. Our anti-poaching patrols are still tripled to address the increased risk of retaliatory poisoning and poaching of wild tigers. With your help, we can complete our next two waterhole projects soon, which in total will help to keep at least 18 wild tigers safe.

Here are some of the ways your donations will help us to save wild tigers:

– £10 ($14) per month for a year will help to drill 12 metres (39 feet) of bore-well to access underground water;

– a one-off £20 ($28) gift will help to drill 2 metres (6.5 feet) of bore-well to access underground water;

– £80 ($115) can pay a team of workers to prepare a site for a new waterhole for wild tigers;

– £400 ($570) will fund 6% of a solar system to bring underground water to the surface;

– £950 ($1400) will drill and line a bore-well to access underground water.

Every donation, no matter how large or small, helps us increase and protect the tiger population. Thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which you are helping us to keep safe; and on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing equipment and labour for our waterhole projects; we couldn’t do this without you. Thanks to you, the tigers can live peacefully and those who live beside them can protect their livelihoods.

Any and all donations are welcome https://goto.gg/34315. If you can’t afford to donate perhaps you could become a Tigers4Ever fundraiser, here: https://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/fundraisers/start/?fundraiser.projids=34315 and ask your friends, colleagues and family to donate to your fundraiser to help us keep wild tigers safe.

Before you go

Earlier this year and thanks to your help, Tigers4Ever was nominated to receive a £1000 (US$1400) grant towards its projects to help wild tigers. Our board of Trustees decided that we should split this equally between our anti-poaching patrols project: https://tigers4ever.org/patrols/ and our education projects: https://tigers4ever.org/education/.

We now have the opportunity to win another £1000 (US$1400) grant, with your help, which we plan to use towards our next waterhole for wild tigers if we win. Could we ask you to spare just a few moments of your time to nominate Tigers4Ever here: https://www.movementforgood.com/12days/index.php?cn=1160528&ct=animals_and_wildlife. Your vote could make all the difference in helping us to win a £1000 donation to help save wild Tigers as part of Ecclesiastical Insurance #12DaysOfGiving and #MovementForGood campaign. Thank you for your support.

The image is of the Young Bamera sub adult royal bengal tiger aged 22 Months old. He is sitting by the roadside on Chakradhara Vah, Bandhavgarh in the early morning sunlight
Young Bamera aged 22 Months on Chakradhara Vah, Bandhavgarh
One of the Arharia male's tiger cubs is standing in the water in a Tigers4Ever Waterhole in Bandhavgarh National Park, India
One of the Arharia male’s cubs in a Tigers4Ever Waterhole

WILD TIGER TALE

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