Hidden away in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas lies a small landlocked country known as the Kingdom of Bhutan. In this kingdom, Bengal tigers prowl across the dramatic rugged terrain. Royal Manas National Park – Bhutan’s oldest – is home to only an estimated 33 tigers. Unfortunately, it has become a hotspot for environmental challenges and illegal poaching.
This is where local heroes rise. Meet Singye Wangmo. She’s one of the few female forestry officers working to protect the small number of tigers left in the national park. At 31 years old, she has come face-to-face-with death. Her first time in-the-field saw her confronting armed poachers.
“Before this incident, I had a lot of doubt and misgivings about my capability.
But I maintained my composure, so now I am more fearless.”
Her fearlessness has become essential in helping to protect the tigers in the park. Not only does she face danger from poachers, she also has to navigate the treacherous landscape which is susceptible to flooding and landslides during the monsoon season. It’s not an easy job, but her love for tigers keeps her coming back.
Singye’s work is vital in helping conserve the tigers of Bhutan. She uses camera traps to track tigers, conducts surveys on foot and patrols through known poaching hot spots. If tigers are not counted yearly, data will be lost and this makes it difficult to gauge whether conservation efforts are successful in protecting these vulnerable and magnificent creatures.
Despite Singye’s profession, she has yet to see a tiger in the wild with her own eyes. Her only interaction has been through indirect signs such as pawprints, scratch marks and glimpses on camera traps. Still, being able to see pictures of the tigers she’s protecting gives her the most satisfaction.
Protecting these elusive cats may seem like a one-woman job, but Singye is adamant that it is up to all of us to help save tigers.
“The fight to save tigers is our collective responsibility.
You and I are the answer.”
The responsibility that we as humans share helps field-heroes like Singye make a significant impact in conserving our precious wildlife around the globe. We all play a part in helping to save tigers. Take action by signing the petition or adopting a tiger today.