Good day from T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach. As you probably know, T.I.G.E.R.S. was created as a wildlife education organization, dedicated to promoting global conservation with informative, educational, and entertaining interactive programs. Director Bhagavan (Doc) Antle works closely with international wildlife conservation projects in South America, Africa and Thailand. In addition to providing much needed funds for these programs, the personnel have been involved in field research as well.
Doc is a conservationist who trains the animals to become “animal ambassadors.” Doc and his team of highly skilled animal trainers spend just about every waking hour working with these magnificent beasts. As animal ambassadors, their role is to make an emotional connection with whom they come in contact. Hopefully, they will impact members of the public enough to encourage them to help fight species extinction.
Doc’s animals have starred in many movies, including Ace Ventura Pet Detective and Dr. Doolittle, but his main focus is raising money for the Rare Species Fund (RSF), which provides conservation programs for such places as The Samutprakarn Wildlife Preserve in Thailand and the Raptor Research Project in South Africa. All proceeds from the tour go toward the RSF.
The tigers, lions, panthers, wolves, apes and elephants are well protected, loved, and fed, cared for and adored. No animal poachers or rainforest-destroying palm oil companies could kill or displace them as long as they are here.
One source explains:
"One of the Sumatran orangutan’s richest habitats, an area of swampland containing the highest density of the red apes on the planet, is being illegally slashed and burned by palm oil companies to make way for palm oil plantations.
“If we can't stop them here, then there really is no hope,” said Ian Singleton as we stood on the edge of what had once been pristine forest, home to hundreds of orangutans, but now reduced to a charred wilderness as far as the eye could see. As he spoke we could hear the distant sound of a chain saw.
Singleton runs the Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme, an organization at the forefront of a battle to save what remains of the forest and the apes.
There are fewer than 7,000 of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutans left in the wild, according to a 2008 survey completed by Singleton and other scientists. The largest number live in a vast area of swampland and lowland forest close to the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
“Orangutan paradise,” Singleton calls the area – but it’s a paradise under threat.
Land cleared, drained and burned in the Tripa Peat Swamp Forest.
The key battleground for Singleton is the Tripa Peat Swamp Forest, much of which has already been converted to palm oil plantations. The relentless march of the palm oil business is the biggest threat facing the orangutans.
A cheap, edible oil, palm oil is found in almost half of all packaged supermarket products, from instant noodles, to cookies to ice cream, and Indonesia is the world's biggest supplier.
“Look, look,” said Singleton, handing me a pair of field glasses. In the distance a large male orangutan moved gracefully across the canopy of trees.
Before leaving Sumatra, Singleton took me to an area where his refugees are being re-located. He told me that for him nothing can quite match the satisfaction of seeing the often bruised and terrified animals that turn up at his rescue center back in the wild." Ian Williams, NBC News
Animal attraction T.I.G.E.R.S. tour in Myrtle Beach is the best hands on animal experience in the World. For more information visit www.myrtlebeachsafari.com.