Nina Rao – BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 58 – Saving Wild Tigers with Dr. Ullas Karanth and Dr. Krithi Karanth

Nina Rao talks with tiger conservationists Dr. Ullas Karanth and Dr. Krithi Karanth about their work at the Centre for Wildlife Studies in India.

Dr. Ullas Karanth is the Managing Trustee and Director of the Centre for Wildlife Studies. His daughter, Dr. Krithi Karanth, is the Chief Conservation Scientist. They practice science-based conservation to promote the protection of wildlife. For over 20 years, Nina Rao’s Saving Wild Tigers has supported the Karanth’s work in creating viable sanctuaries for wild tigers.

Don’t miss Saving Wild Tigers online benefit concert: Sacred Music for Sacred Forests. Premiering at 7pm ET on May 30, join Nina and artists such as Trevor Hall, MC Yogi, and Krishna Das in their expression of love for nature.
Obsessed with Tigers

Nina welcomes Ullas and Krithi, and asks both how they came to their love of tigers and wildlife. Ullas talks about his efforts to help restore the tiger population in India, and how there’s room to create more wilderness habitats for tigers around the globe. They discuss the importance of biodiversity, and the deep culture of tolerance for wildlife in India.

“In general, [humans] want nature. And I think it’s like priceless paintings that you have inherited. Why do you want to rip it up for a couple dollars?” –Dr. Ullas Karanth

Robert Thurman joins Nina Rao for a conversation around preserving the wealth of nature on BHNN Guest Podcast Ep. 52
Conservation Efforts (20:03)

Nina asks Krithi about the projects she has created for the Centre for Wildlife Studies, including one that looks at the scale of interaction between humans and wildlife in India. Nina and Ullas talk about the work he does in the field, and his program to train the next generation of conservationists. 

“One thing that struck me was no matter where we went, and how many households we talked to, there was an acknowledgement that these spaces were to be shared with animals. Sometimes the animals cause problems, but inherently there is this recognition that these animals have been around as long, if not longer, than us.” – Dr. Krithi Karanth

Tigers and Covid (36:50)

Nina asks Ullas about the news of the tiger at the Bronx Zoo that was infected with Covid-19. They discuss how wildlife poaching in India has increased due to the pandemic lockdown. Krithi talks about the scope of another program she runs, and how everyone who works in the NGO sector is affected by the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.

“A human being can pass on Covid to a tiger if he literally hugs and kisses it, which happens in zoos, but it’s highly unlikely to happen in the wild in India.” – Dr. Ullas Karanth

Art via Ondrej Prosicky