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Responsible tourism Awards

Interview with Liz Bonin

Liz BonninLiz Bonnin, Wild Animal Biologist, Biochemist and presenter of BBC1ís Bang Goes The Theory supported the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010. Here she talks about how your holiday choice can actually help save tigers from extinction.


Our planet is too busy -

Asking poor communities to put land aside to help save gorillas, tigers and orang-utans when they are trying to survive themselves is not realistic.

We need your money to employ local people, such as tour guides.

Choose a reputable company so the money goes to the right people and, if the economy in that community improves they can help us. Contribute responsibly to the local economy by staying in local farms or homestays knowing you have done your bit to keep the planet happy.

We need people to see these beautiful and amazing animals -

But we donít want to harm the local wildlife in the process. Iíve seen it when it doesnít work - safaris are great but there canít be lots of jeeps around an animal that is trying to hunt. The company has to know what they are doing.

Big cats are my favourite animals.

My most amazing experience was in Pench Nature Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, central India. It was dawn and we could hear the spotted deer barking to each other; a warning that the tiger is near. I will never forget the feeling of seeing that tigress Ė she was so beautiful and majestic.

There are people working night and day to save tigers from extinction.

However, itís difficult when poachers offer locals £300 to turn a blind eye. But if these people have their own money they wonít be so tempted. This interview appeared exclusively in the Metro Newspaper on Friday 23 May 2010.

Check out our other celebrity supporters.
Claude Graves, Nihiwatu, overall winner 2010