Stay the hands that dare seize the fire

It was 1794 when the English poet, William Blake wrote his famous poem, The Tiger (or The Tyger, as it was spelled then):

Tiger tiger burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye.
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies,
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

There are only about 3,000 tigers living in the wild today and in 20 years they may disappear altogether. On November 23, leaders from 13 countries are to meet at St. Petersburg to try to save the tiger from extinction.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Russia and Thailand are the last 13 refuges of this majestic and iconic wild animal.

The 13 leaders will meet with the aim to double the number of the tiger population in 12 years. They hope to do that by cracking down on poaching and smuggling, by protecting habitat across boundaries and by providing the $80 million per year the species needs in order to survive.

Is $80 million too much to ask? Well no, when you consider that China spent $31 billion on the 2008 Olympics and India $2.6 billion on the recent Commonwealth Games … Will the 13 steward-countries who hold the fate of the tiger in their hands take the bold step to give the tiger the priority it deserves? Will they bestow their dollars along with their smiles on this final effort to save the Tiger?

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?


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