The article, “When caring less may actually help” (Jan. 30), made for an interesting read and provided insights into the writer’s study of over three decades as a tiger biologist. His message is clear. Animal lovers must not feel despondent about any declining population, but rather devote their energies to contributing to the survival of the habitat and species as a whole. He laid stress on the expansion of protection area coverage and curbing adverse human impact. True, the killing of one reportedly rampant tiger will not dangerously impact the numbers, but it is to be noted that such instances willy-nilly lead to a relaxation of stringent protection and, therefore, to more such killings. To offset the annual loss of tigers, we must make allowances for increased mortality and promote the addition of around 150 to 200 cubs a year. There is little scope, in this day and age, to consolidate the protection areas. We must take measures to preclude man-made causes of tiger deaths.

R. Krishnamurthy, Coimbatore

Maintaining the sanctity of the Nilgiri biosphere will prove conducive to growth and development, in addition to serving the ideal of conservation of protection areas. Awareness must be raised on the importance of avoiding encroachments into such areas and venerating them within the ambit of the Wildlife Protection Act.

Jeevan Jyoti Choudhury, Barpeta, Assam

I was astonished to read the writer recommending a “humane death” to all old, injured tigers. If it is abhorrent to provide euthanasia to humans, how is it justified in the case of tigers? Moreover, how do you register the consent or otherwise of the animal? This suggestion can have serious social repercussions. It is crucial that we humans do not impose our decisions upon animals. I am sure they do not want mercy, but their freedom and liberty.

Shiva Singh, Balukaram, Bihar

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