Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    ABC's Bob Woodruff and "Nightline" producer Jake Whitman spent three days at the Ranthambore National Park in northern India, driving nearly 200 miles of dusty roads to capture the tourist frenzy over the park's most popular attraction: rare Bengal tigers.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    Here, it's paparazzi meets safari. Jeeps and buses packed with tourists are allowed to come into the park to hunt down one of the world's most endangered animals and chase after that perfect shot. Each ride costs 700 to 800 rupees per person, or about $10 to $12 U.S. dollars. There are no cages or fences separating man from beast.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    Ranthambore National Park, nearly 300-square-miles of dry, rocky jungle, is one of India's largest national parks. Dozens of species of animals roam free here, including langur monkeys, sambar deer and crocodile.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    The park is also home to 272 different species of birds. Here, a male peacock perches on top of ruins that are part of the historic Ranthambhore fortress.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    But it's the park's 47 tigers that bring out the tourists. "Tigers are one of nature's most beautiful animals," said Balendu Singh, a local resort owner and honorary wildlife warden who acted as a guide for "Nightline." "I doubt if any other creature can come close to the tiger in its magnificence or regality. This is the most beautiful creature God has placed on the earth."
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    Not only is Balendu Singh a tiger conservationist, but he also runs a local resort called Dev Vilas, where people who visit Ranthambhore can stay. His resort encourages tiger tourism because Singh believes keeping the park alive is the best way to protect them.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    There are many in India who want to make "tiger tourism" illegal and India's Supreme Court banned it for three months last summer. But despite conservationists' pleas, the court has temporarily lifted the ban, pending a review.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    Even though the ban on tiger tourism only lasted three months, it was devastating to residents in the area who rely heavily on the money tiger tourism brings to their economy. One shop owner said thousands of people would lose their jobs if it weren't for the park and its tigers.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    By one estimate, a single tiger at Ranthambhore National Park generates some $130 million in revenue over its lifespan. But while the tiger tourism ban is under review, other provisions were put in place. Only 40 vehicles are allowed at a time, twice a day for three hours.
    Jake Whitman/ABC
  • Can 'Tiger Tourism' Save India's Big Cats?

    Seeing the tigers here is a unique opportunity, for there are only about 1,700 of them left in the wild in India. "If tourism was to stop, there would be total mayhem," Singh said. "I don't see any other way we can go forward, to save this magnificent beast. It's such a beautiful animal, you never get tired of seeing a tiger."
    Jake Whitman/ABC
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