There are now just 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Three of the nine subspecies (the Bali, Javan and Caspian tigers) are extinct; a fourth, the South China, is also lost to the wild, with a few dozen specimens surviving in captivity. Tigers' survival is not guaranteed even in the most protected places: four died in a north Indian reserve named after Corbett earlier this year. The national animal of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia and North and South Korea; the majestic creature at the heart of eastern and western culture from traditional Chinese myths to evil Shere Khan in the Jungle Book and cuddly Tigger in Winnie the Pooh; the big cat that sells us beer, petrol and other human essentials such as sugar-frosted breakfast cereal, is teetering on the very brink of extinction.
On November 21, various heads of state and assorted other diplomats are going to convene in St Petersburg at the snappily titled Tiger Summit, which has been widely billed as the last chance to save the big cat from extinction. Some conservationists feel the participants are remote bureaucrats with no experience of the on-the-ground realities. Others are refusing to go at all. Tiger experts are agreed on the prime, simple cause of its disappearance: it is being massacred for a lucrative illegal trade in traditional Chinese medicine. So, as we know why it's disappearing, surely the answer to this problem is a simple one? I'm going to answer my own question here. The answer is money, as it is to everything like this. In this case, money for more game wardens to patrol areas where the poachers operate.
Simple, I've saved the tiger. All we have to do now is wait and see if anyone else wants to do it.
BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker (nice name) has caused a major furore in the home counties by having the downright brass neck to present the weather whilst -and you might want to sit down before reading this- wearing a jumper and jeans. I know, it's unbelievable, the end of days.
Public Enemy No1
And in a move which headline writers everywhere would love, cash strapped Manchester City are after Porto's man mountain striker Hulk. Hulk's not so keen though, maybe he's been to Manchester before, eh?
He's probably pressing a car full of attractive but badly acting teenagers effortlessly above his head right now.
"Raaaaaaargh! Hulk no go City"