Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - Page 8 News List

[LETTERS]

White tigers not conservation

Tigers are under severe threat through loss of habitat and poaching to supply an illicit trade in animal parts.

We are lucky in that there are six tiger sub-species still surviving. These are the Bengal tiger, the Amur tiger, the South China tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Sumatran tiger and the Malayan tiger.

Sadly, in my lifetime we have lost the Javan tiger, the Bali tiger and the Caspian tiger.

None of these tigers were a “white” species. There is no species or sub-species of white tiger!

Today people are much more aware of the threats that tigers are facing and more is being done to protect them in the wild. The South China tiger is just hanging on in the wild, and with luck may well be saved.

Zoos today offer the tigers their best hope of survival with scientifically managed breeding programs. These will ensure that we have captive animals for many years to come.

White tigers are not rare! White tigers are not endangered! White tigers are not a species! They are not even a sub-species! White tigers have no conservation value.

The white tiger is a mutant, a freak of nature, an aberration of the Bengal tiger. They do occur in the wild, but only rarely. There are a number of records of animals being hunted and shot over the past 100 years or so. Left to their own in the wild they could possibly survive, but they would be disadvantaged by their color. Their prey would see them coming!

There are no white tigers in the wild today. The captive white tiger population has been deliberately “manufactured” by man. There is a huge population consisting of hundreds of unmanaged white tigers in Texas and China alone.

Keeping animals in captivity today revolves around breeding programs and conservation. It is a long-term project involving cooperation between reputable zoos the world over. The aim is to have strong, genetically viable populations for release into the wild at some point in the future.

No responsible zoo should be breeding white tigers. The space taken up by white tigers in captivity could be utilized for keeping and breeding other tiger species which are in desperate need.

PETER DICKINSON

Chester, UK

Masses voted in Trojan horse

The people of Taiwan were mobilized or manipulated by the media to vote for a leader who was intended to warm the relationship with China in a way that the US and China both felt comfortable with.

Lately, the US has differing opinions about this matter, while China is benefiting greatly from cross-strait agreements.

Without the media, the people would not have chosen to vote for pro-economy President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) instead of Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who was “cynical” about the economy.

Like most other people who were skeptical about Ma’s so-called “6-3-3” policy, Hsieh knew in the first quarter of last year that the economic crisis was about to hit Taiwan.

A major factor that contributed to Ma’s landslide win was that the media unleashed the scandal surrounding former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in a timely manner and allowed it to be exploited to an extent that people associated Hsieh with Chen.

Now it appears that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is controlling the judges and the courts in indicting Chen and numerous other DPP members, while defending their own members whenever they are accused. Is that called fair justice?

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