Q 1. Animals, big and small, is being used by humans for their selfish ends? What is your opinion regarding the exploitation of animals? Mention some examples that you can see a possible solution to this problem.
It is true that animals, big and small are being used by humans for their selfish ends. We use them for our own benefits. Animals are killed, poached and captured for commercial benefits. Humans have encroached on their space and sheltered them in zoos which is truly inhuman. In the poem, the poet has shown the plight of a tiger. He is captured and confined in a small cage. He is frustrated, angry and restless. It longs for freedom. Confinement brings bondage and bondage is cruel.
Every day we see many animals suffering due to humans. Monkeys bear captured and made to dance on roads, Elephants are chained and forced to lift heavy loads. Many animals are sheltered in zoos for the entertainment of human beings. They are kept in poor conditions. They are treated inhumanely. We should learn to respect nature and its inhabitants. After all, these animals to share the earth with us.
Q 2. Some animals are becoming extinct; the tiger is one such animal. What do you think could be the reason? Should this decrease in number be stopped? Why?
The primary threats to the survival of tigers are poaching and habitat loss due to intensive development. The Tigers are getting extinct. The Tigers are on the list of endangered species and the reason behind it is human interference. Humans hunt tigers for their commercial benefits. The loss of habitats also leads to a reduction in prey animals, so the area can support fewer tigers. Moreover, tigers are poached for trophies such as teeth and fur and for traditional medicines. The growing population clears the forest areas to make them agricultural land for food. This creates a problem of the tiger’s habitat. Tigers are the backbone of food web and forest, hence should be protected.
Q 3. And stares with his brilliant eyes, At the brilliant stars.’ We can no longer do that. How do we feel about the ‘tigers in the zoo’? You can even imagine yourself in captivity.
When there is a natural habitat for tigers and other wild animals, is it justified for humans to shift them from there to other locations? Give a reasonable answer to justify it.
The tiger in the poem is feeling miserable in a concrete cell. Does it not amount to cruelty? Express your opinion about keeping wild animals in zoos. Is there any lesson for humans?
The tiger in the poem is wretched in its cage. It longs for freedom. It may be well looked after, but the fact of the matter is that unless one is free, one is not alive. Confinement brings bondage, and bondage is cruel. One may argue that at least this way they all will not be killed and become extinct. However, taking away one’s freedom to keep one alive kill the desire to live anyhow. Even humans throughout the world oppose the chains of slavery and oppression. How are other living creatures any different? Humans have encroached on their space, and sheltering them in zoos is truly inhuman. Humans must learn to respect nature, for humans exist only due to nature.
Q 4. Give contrasting pictures of the tiger in his natural habitat and in the locked cage of the zoo. How does he feel and behave differently in both places?
The tiger is a denizen of the forest. He loves to roam around freely in his natural habitat—the jungle. There, he is totally free with no restrictions on his movements and activities. He knows how to ambush his prey. He waits for his prey lurking silently in the shadow of the trees. Then he slides unseen and unnoticed through the long grass. He knows where he can find his favourite hunt—plump deer. It is the water hole where they come for drinking water and become easy victims of the mighty tiger. The tiger knows no boundaries and limits. Sometimes he roams around the houses which are situated on the edge of the jungle. With his open white teeth and powerful paws, he terrorises the villagers. He rarely attacks them until he is provoked.
However, it is a pathetic picture of the same tiger when he is locked in a concrete cell in the zoo. The mighty and ferocious animal is put behind the bars. There he stalks in ‘quiet rage’ the length of his cage. He becomes just a piece of entertainment for visitors. But the proud tiger just ignores them. At night from behind the bars, he keeps on staring at the brilliant stars in the vast sky. The vastness of the sky and the brilliance of stars only intensifies his loss of freedom.
Q 5. Freedom is such an essential virtue that is valued not only by human beings but also by animals alike. Justify the statement with reference to Leslie Norris’s poem ‘A Tiger in the Zoo’.
Freedom is an essential virtue valued by all. Not only humans but even the denizens of the forest value it. No one knows it better than a caged tiger in a zoo. Animals, particularly the animals of the wilds, feel free only in their natural habitats. Any attempt to ‘domesticate’ ferocious and mighty animals like lions or tigers by locking them in concrete cells will be against natural justice. The tiger roams around in the jungle hunting its prey at will. He rarely kills his prey for sport. He kills them only when he is hungry. He knows how to ambush his prey. He lurks unnoticed in the long grass before pouncing upon his prey. He also knows where he can find his favourite plump deer. He may come out of the forest sometimes and terrorise -the villagers living at the outskirts of the jungle. He rarely kills them till he is provoked.
The same tiger feels depressed and low in spirits when he is put behind the bars. He stalks constantly the length of his cage in his ‘quiet rage’. He ignores the visitors and feels helpless. Behind the bars, he keeps on staring at the brilliant stars in the open sky. This sadly reminds him of his loss of freedom and intensifies his grief.