Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bandipur and Mudumalai Tiger Reserves on April 9 and acknowledged the hard work of all forest officials, guards, tiger reserve frontline staff and everyone else working on tiger conservation. He released the figures of the current population of tigers in the country. He told that by the year 2022, the population of tigers in India has been recorded at 3,167. The ‘International Big Cats Alliance’ started in Mysuru has not only saved tigers, but has also created a favourable ecology for their population to grow.
He said that the success of ‘Project Tiger’ is a matter of pride not only for India but for the whole world. “We do not believe in a conflict between ecology and economy. India is a country where protecting nature is a part of the culture,” he said while pointing out that India is the only country in the world to have the Asiatic Lion. The population of lions has increased from 525 in 2015 to 675 in 2020, and leopard population has grown by over 60 per cent in just four years.
He said, “Tiger reserves have increased the number of tourists and this has strengthened the local economy. The presence of big cats has a positive impact on the lives of local people and the ecology there. Cheetahs were extinct from India decades ago. We brought them to India from Namibia and South Africa. This is the first successful trans-continental translocation of the big cat.” The PM added that a few days ago, four beautiful cubs were born in Kuno National Park.
He further said, “The lifestyle of the tribal society also helps a lot in understanding the vision of ‘Mission Life’ i.e. Lifestyle for the Environment. That’s why I urge all of you to take something from the life and tradition of the tribal society to your country.”