I am old enough to remember the commercials that urged us to ‘put a tiger in our tank’ -or how Tony the tiger told us that ‘Kellogg’s Frosties were grrrrreat!’ – but, hopefully, l am also wise enough to appreciate how wildlife conservationists are now asking the business world to play its part in saving this real largest member of the cat species from extinction in real life.
Last night – at Bath’s Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel – some of the local names in social media and promotion – were told that, while there were between 150,000 and 2000,000 tigers in the wild at the turn of the century, numbers had fallen to around three and a half thousand this year.
They were invited to see a selection of photographs which will form the world’s biggest wild tiger exhibition 34 of the world’s top wildlife photographers to be held at the Royal Albert Hall from September 18th to October 14th.
It’s being organised by the Save Wild Tigers Partnership – a global initiative set up by marketing expert Simon Clinton – which aims to tackle education, poaching and the destruction of the animal’s natural habitat.
The London-based exhibition is sponsored by YTL Hotels and The Eastern and Oriental Express. YTL of course own the Gainsborough in Bath and manage our Thermae Spa.
Simon Clinton was on hand to thank them for the local promotion and also point out that the YTL Corporation have their international headquarters in Malaysia – a country who’s national symbol is the Malayan tiger.
He told his audience it was ‘pay back time’ for the commercial interests who had used the tiger to promote their products.
He also explained how poaching was incentivised by everything from a tiger skin fetching between £120,000 and £150,000 each and even tiger bones were used in a ‘Tiger Bone Wine’ which can go for £20,000 a case.
Also there to speak up for the tiger was multi-award winning wildlife photographer Andy Rouse who explained how he came to be able to take the amazing picture on display of two almost full grown cubs at play.
Meanwhile, congratulations are in order as l am hearing The Gainsborough Bath Spa has been named the No.2 Hotel in the UK in the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards.
It was placed second in Top UK Hotel Spas, placed ninth in Top UK Holiday Hotels and included in The World’s Top 100.