Today I visited the beautiful Sunderbans, approximately three hours in the car traveling southeast from Kolkata, and then another two hour boat journey. I went with the intention of learning more about how India, Bangladesh, and the United States could work together on tiger conservation issues. I also wanted to see how climate change and energy technology can help address some of the major challenges facing this region.
And maintaining the audacity of hope, and overcoming all the odds, I held out the slight chance of spotting the Bengal tiger living in this extraordinary swamp environment. We were exceedingly lucky, and glimpsing the orange colors shining in the sun in a tiny opening under the low covered canopy from our boat, we experienced that “piercing of the heart”…a tiger in the wild. This is a highly unique and ecologically rich place in the world which has no equal. Maybe this experience will be a precursor to partnership and progress on tiger conservation efforts in the future.