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!).
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
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.”