Hamilton:Modern cricket's greatest batsman, Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday pledged his support for tiger conservation.
Tendulkar said that the Indian team supported the cause of the critically endangered species, whose numbers have been dropping alarmingly in the wild.
"At the start of the century, there were nearly 40,000 tigers in India. Today, that number has shrunk to 1,700 and we are losing at least one tiger a month. The rate at which the tiger is being hunted down is alarming," said Tendulkar, on the eve of India's first Test against New Zealand.
"When I was growing up, I was told there was an animal called a dinosaur. Tomorrow, we would probably be talking about the tiger in a similar way to our future generations.
Something needs to be done soon to stop the tiger from vanishing from our forests," he said.
"Though I am no expert in this field, I feel the tiger should be allowed to live without disturbance in the forests. As we have our own homes and territories, the tiger has its territory. We should not disturb its habitat. That would be the best way to ensure that this magnificent survives in our forests," he added.
In his message, Tendulkar said, "This majestic species is a symbol of India's rich and diverse wildlife heritage. It is in our best interests to ensure that this magnificent animal is not wiped out.
"Join me, Sachin Tendulkar, in speaking out for the tiger. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can save the critically endangered tiger."
Tendulkar also signed the Team Indian tiger banner, writing "Together, we can do whatever we can to save the tiger."