Image Credit: Supplied picture

There are only approximately 3,000 tigers left in the wild, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

They are being killed at a rate of 4-5 per week for various reasons, including mistaken medicinal purposes, hunting, for their cubs and because of man-to-tiger conflict.

The tiger is so in danger of extinction, it’s on the top of the WWF’s most endangered list.

It is frightening to think that based on current projected estimations, the tiger will be wiped off our planet within 20 years. I personally cannot imagine a world without the tiger. In fact, three species of tigers have already become extinct within the last 30 years.

When someone mentioned how endangered the tiger species was, I realised I had found something that really hit a nerve with me. I wanted to do something about this to try and make a difference.

I am now getting a group of amateur runners together for the Standard Chartered Marathon and 10km race which will be held on January 25, 2013.

So far, we have six runners: myself, my wife Abby Powell, Poras and Karina Dhakan, Nader Henein and Leigh Billings. I am looking for four more people.

Our team is called ‘Tiger Feet’ and our aim is to raise as much money as possible for Tiger Awareness, a UK Charity, which focuses on the plight of the Bengal tiger in India.

The developing ‘Tiger Feet’ concept is for anyone that runs, swims, jumps, hops or eats for a tiger charity.

They will wear unique ‘Tiger Socks’ whilst doing their events and the hope is that it will help raise awareness and the socks will become linked with saving the tiger.

It’s a fun idea that can be linked to events.

We are also in the infancy stage of planning a cycle ride from London to Dubai - we will be finishing by flying out to the forests of India. We will of course all be wearing our Tiger Socks.


The charity

The founder of our chosen charity - Tiger Awareness - is Phil Davis. Phil founded the Charity in 1998.

He is an interesting person and is so passionate about the plight of the tiger, that he sold his house and all his possessions to raise money for the cause.

India is where the vast majority of wild tigers live and his charity works goes into villages and forests in the tigers’ habitat, where a number of projects are implemented to help protect the tiger and raise awareness.


Where the money is going

In a nutshell, the funds raised will be used to protect the Bengal tiger. This is done in a variety of ways, such as:

- Supporting various projects in the local area to raise employment.

They are running one handicraft project in Jharkhali, Sundarbans, giving employment to over 50 people, which will make local people more self-sufficient and less reliant on the forests and the tigers for sources of income.

- Providing education about the forests and tigers.

The forests are being cut down rapidly in India, which is the tigers’ natural habitat.

- Helping forest villages with medical camps and solar lighting and working with local communities and the government to build a network of support for the tiger and the forests.

- The funds will also help the locals.

Farmers kill tigers as they fear their livestock is under threat. Animal Compensation Funds are in place where villages have proven to have lost cattle/goats taken by predators.

- Help support forest guards with equipment – bikes, raincoats and mosquito nets.

- Raising awareness at the government level to help protect these forests.

A lot of this is about education and providing alternative sources of income to the local population. They work with the government and offer other industries to source their income.


What can the community do?

We are hoping organisations and individuals can help support our cause.

If you are interested, please contact or click on this link and hit donate: Any donations however small will be gratefully received. The money that you donate will go straight to the charity.


Visit these Tiger Feet websites for information:

The reader is based in Dubai. 

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