A CONSERVATIONIST who has launched his own campaign to save the tiger is preparing to take his fight global.
Simon Clinton says his love of tigers dates back to his childhood in Malaysia but he has only recently begun campaigning to save the endangered beasts.
The resident of Aston Rowant near Watlington now plans to take his Save Wild Tigers campaign into Asia and has even managed to recruit the Malaysian Royal family to support his cause.
He said: “Up until now I have been very UK-centric and we will continue doing things here but this is a global issue so it is important we take the message into these countries, working with locals.
“It cannot be done by us waving a stick and telling them what to do. We should be helping them.”
Mr Clinton, who works in marketing, began campaigning for tigers three years ago, and set up his non-profit group a year ago.
To break into Asia he has worked with Eastern and Oriental Express to organise a train journey through the south east of the continent later this year, which includes a gala dinner with the Malaysian royal family.
Mr Clinton, whose campaign has also attracted the support of Queen guitarist Brian May and actress Joanna Lumley, said: “It has been fantastic and overwhelming to see this campaign grow so quickly and public feedback has been amazing.
“There is probably a central team of around 25 people working on this as volunteers or part time now and that has grown over three years.”
Tiger numbers have declined by around 97 per cent over the past few centuries.
At the turn of the 20th century there were an estimated 100,000 tigers but now less than 3,500 remain in just seven per cent of their original habitat.
This means there are more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild.
Mr Clinton said: “We have got 10 years to double their numbers or they will become extinct.
“We are getting people to understand that if this generation doesn’t do something about this the only place you will see tigers will be in zoos or art galleries.
“They are such an iconic species and there is something magical and majestic about the tiger.”
Mr Clinton says the charity’s aims are to raise awareness across the globe of the issues and actions required to save the tiger, engage with people in countries with high tiger populations who can help them achieve their goals and raise funds for tiger conservation.
Mr Clinton hopes to save the tigers by bringing his marketing expertise to the issue, raising both funds and awareness.
To donate to Mr Clinton’s campaign, visit savewildtigers.org and for more information about the train ride visit easternand orientalexpress.com/tiger