EarthDay Interview Highlights Obama Household’s Interest in Tigers

On Saturday, we got a great note from Bittu Sahgal, a trustee of WILD who has lead a life-long campaign for the tiger.  Bittu was on the WILD9 Advisory Board and spoke during the opening session of the Congress on the importance of the World Wilderness Congress as a Conservation tool.  Sahgal is the founder and editor of Sanctuary Asia, India’s leading wildlife, conservation and environment magazine, and recently did a great interview on WILD’s President Vance Martin (ooh, to be a fly on the wall during that great conversation!).

Photo by Vance Martin, 2010, Save China's Tigers

The “news flash” is particularly interesting because it ties tiger conservation, an issue WILD has been attentive to for many years through Sanctuary Asia’s Save the Tiger campaign and recently with the Save China’s Tigers program in South Africa, to current events, public policy and opportunities for action here in the US.  We hope that you’ll feel inspired to write Malia.  Here is a bit of what Bittu wrote:

“At a gathering at the White House on April 22, Earth Day, a reporter asked President Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, about her family’s environmental interests. Mrs. Obama said:

‘Malia’s one issue for her father is saving the tigers. So we talk about the tigers at least once a week and what he’s doing to save the tigers… he tells her he’s working on it and there are a lot of people who are thinking about it. He hasn’t come up with a sufficient answer yet, but he’s got a couple more years or so to fix this problem. I think the Obama household, we’re trying to save the tigers.’

Eleven-year-old Malia Obama is the President’s older daughter. How exciting to know that Malia’s favorite animal is the tiger! This is reassuring proof to anyone who needs it that people all over the world love and want to save tigers, not just Indians (because it’s their national animal) or conservationists. It’s clear that this is an important issue for Malia, and therefore President Obama.

My suggestion is that all tiger-loving Cub readers write to Malia at the White House. You can share with her any thoughts and ideas that you have for the Obama family and administration about saving tigers. I’ve heard that President Obama will be making his first trip to India this year. In your letter to Malia, you could suggest that she ask her dad to visit a tiger reserve (like President Bill Clinton did), and promise to help save tigers.

Lots of letters will show her (and her dad!) that kids in India share her passion and are dedicated to the cause of the tiger.

Here is Malia’s address:

Miss Malia Obama (“Tigers”)
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500, USA

Photo by Vance Martin, 2010, Save China's Tigers

I’m sure that because Malia feels strongly about tigers, President Obama will as well. A few years ago I interviewed the wildlife conservationist Alan Rabinowitz. I asked him whether he believes kids can help protect animals like tigers. His response really stuck with me: “When my kids want something, I listen.” Parents listen to their kids. So if all the kids of the world who care talk to their parents and other adults, we could help so many animals, not just the tiger. Let’s all talk to our own parents to get things done, and let’s help Malia talk to hers.”

3 Comments (Post Comment)
Eric Wilson says:

Tigers are of the highest importance and they are in desperate trouble with only a thousand breeding females left in the wild. The time is NOW to act because if we don’t, it is this generation and todays World leaders that will forever be held responsible for allowing the most beautiful and majestic creature on Earth to become extinct. Future ‘tigerless’ generations will view this issue with vastly more importance than it currently receives.

Ashley Nicole Martin (Nikky) says:

I like Malia also love tigers I have my entire life and I am going to college to be come a wildlife photographer, Tigers inspired me to do this.

saeedshiekh says:

Children of the same age as Malia in Pakistan were simply appalled about learning the views of Malia regarding tigers. Worried faces. They could not believe what they were hearing. A young girl even wrote a letter to Malia. This is the letter she wrote. Don’t know if it ever got to her. But it will remind the world of how children across the world feel about tigers and the jurisdiction of the thoughts of Malia. Read the letter and find out why children across the world fear such thoughts and what type of plea has they made to her at

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