In December 2013 at the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in India, we finally got the word: Three confiscated steel-jawed poacher’s traps would be brought to the Forest Department office at one o’clock, and we’d been granted permission to film them.
The bones are smuggled almost exclusively to China, used in tiger bone wine—a pricey traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) tonic thought to impart the tiger’s great strength and vigor. We were working in India with two of the world’s foremost experts on the topic, Belinda Wright and Nitin Desai. Belinda Wright sorting through tiger bones seized near Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, India in 1995. She figured out what was happening when a shop owner approached her in a nearby town one day. Wright abandoned her filmmaking career and founded the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), an organization she’s led ever since.
It’s a common misbelief that organized tiger poachers use fancy, sophisticated weapons to kill tigers.
Desai explained that these traps aren’t factory-made; they’re forged by a blacksmith over an open fire.
It took a nerve-wracking 15 minutes (with the help of a couple of guards) for Desai to pry it open and then set it, while doing his best to keep his hands out of its crushing jaws. Belinda Wright, Nitin Desai and Mukesh Bhandakka, of the Wildlife Protection Society of India examine confiscated tiger poaching traps outside Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Central India. They work during the dry season, placing jaw traps on trails or near water holes, often choosing full moon nights. Steve and I glimpsed how WPSI tries to stop poachers before they kill—rather than having to track them afterwards.
WPSI also employs roaming informers who follow the movements of poaching gangs as they move around the country. Villages in Khutwanda, a village just outside Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Central India, examine fliers describing The WIldlife Protection Society of India’s reward system for poaching tips.
But the judicial system is overburdened, penalties are light, and wildlife crime sits low on the list of priorities. Unfortunately Poachers are a huge problem, not only in India but around the world, you generally find the actual poachers are poorer in the society they live in, For Wildlife to survive, parks need to find these people out and Educate and employ them to protect our future Wildlife, i do not see any easier answer to the problem, it is only greed mainly from the North that these Animals are persecuted. I love what you are doing with this site and what I’ve seen you do with awareness into the illegal poaching of these beautiful animals. We'll look for answers and post them here, along with regular updates about the science and conservation status of felids.
National Geographic supports scientific research of lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and other big cats with a view to finding viable ways to protect them in their natural habitat.
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Tigers are part of a massive wildlife trade that’s run by sophisticated international crime syndicates, the same trade that’s wiping out elephants, rhinos and so many other species.
In 1994, Wright heard rumors that outsiders were targeting big cats in Kanha Tiger Reserve, near where she lived. Their focus: to gather information on wildlife crime—especially involving tigers—and assist enforcement authorities in arresting alleged criminals and curbing wildlife crime. He now directs WPSI’s anti-poaching activities here in what is known as the “Central Indian Tiger Landscape.” About a quarter of the country’s 1,800 remaining Bengal tigers live here in India’s heartland, protected within a string of 13 tiger reserves. They told us that guards had discovered the largest of the three confiscated traps—a tiger trap—in “buffer” forest just outside Tadoba.
From the design, he could tell that this one was made here in Central India: It was a type that had been used in the area for decades. They pay locals for information on where and when anti-poaching patrols move through specific areas—and where tigers and their kills have been recently sighted.
They come into town in a group, often accompanied by their wives and children, who sell trinkets on the street while they’re camped there to divert attention. One morning, just after dawn, we went to Khutwanda, a farming village that sits on Tadoba’s doorstep.
An example: Sita, a famous tigress photographed by Nick Nichols that appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1997, vanished in the spring of ‘98. The organization has amassed a wildlife crime database that’s one of the largest in the world, logging some 24,925 cases and profiles on 19,020 wildlife criminals.
Best spend your time in supporting all people who try to make the world a better place for it’s beings. There are 38 species of felids, ranging from the seven-pound tabby in your lap to 500-pound Siberian tigers—with cheetahs, leopards, ocelots, and other striped and spotted cats in between.
We'll also share National Geographic articles, videos, and behind-the-scenes features and keep you up to date on our Big Cats Initiative work to help big cats hang on in the wild. Bloggers and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. Combining the resources of National Geographic and the Cincinnati Zoo, and drawing on the skills of an incredible crew, we documented these amazing cats in a way that’s never been done before.


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The cats are being slaughtered across India and their entire range, mostly for their bones and their magnificent pelts.
Tigers she’d spent years filming for her Emmy award-winning National Geographic documentary, ‘Land of the Tiger’ were suddenly disappearing. It was a crude, rusty iron contraption, maybe a foot in diameter, with large, serrated teeth. Poachers often work those forest fringes, targeting adults, particularly males—they get more money for their larger skins.
Once a tiger is snared, “they do a kind of surgical strike, take down the tiger, remove the skin and bones and leave the area in about three hours,” says Desai. Wright, Desai, and his colleague Mukesh Bhandakkar approached a group of men who sat on a wall in the center of the village, some of them dressed in traditional dhotis. Four men were later arrested with bones and a skin that identified her: a tiger’s stripes are unique, like a human fingerprint. From 1994-2013, 1,690 people were accused in tiger poaching and seizure cases; over that same period, just 69 were convicted in 25 cases. The nursery will be planting in the new greenhouse in November.Not only the Dutch horticulture in general, but especially the Dutch area Westdorpe is booming.
Second, the weather was the coldest in a long time, also weakening the iron (remember the Titanic?).
They told them of WPSI’s “secret information reward scheme,” where they would pay for tips that led to a poaching arrest.
What we are going to say to our sons or daughters about tigers when all of them will be extinct? Below, Nitin Desai demonstrates how poachers set their homemade jaw traps to capture tigers near the Tadoba Tiger Reserve. He lived under an assumed name in another state until 2012, when he was IDed through a WPSI “reward system” informer.
Is it possible one hit the sub from either the prey ship or the one coming to its rescue, and not reported?
Now, 13 years later, he’s in jail, waiting to be tried for killing Sita—and faking his own death.



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