Mon, March 23, 2009
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Indian sand art

2009-03-23 02:55:40 GMT2009-03-23 10:55:40 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

It's a tribute from artist to sportsman.

The 15 foot long tiger, is the design of world reknown sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik.

He wanted to thank Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for dedicating his 42nd Test century to tiger conservation.

Tendulkar scored 160 runs against New Zealand in the first test match at Hamilton.

(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) SUDARSAN PATTNAIK, INDIA'S FAMED SAND ARTIST, SAYING:

"Orissa is one of the main destinations for tigers. So it's really great that a sportsman has associated himself and his game to the cause of tiger conservation. To show our appreciation we have recreated the tiger out of 15 tonnes of sand."

The sportsman wasn't there to see the tiger for himself but there were plenty of admirers.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FRANCIS, A FOREIGN TOURIST, SAYING:

"It is a marvellous thing, very interesting. And I would say I have never seen such a beautify tiger as this."

Orissa's tiger reserve is one of the major tiger habitats in India.

There were about 40,000 tigers in India a century ago but the population has fallen to under 2,000.

Tigers have been hunted for their skins and bones which the Chinese use for traditional medicines.

Experts say India's dwindling tiger population will never recover.

Hayley Platt, Reuters

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