Valmik Thapar is recognized as one of the world's leading tiger experts and known to many as "the Indian tiger's best friend". At age 9, he saw his first tiger while riding on an elephant. Thapar would go on to spend decades following tigers around, filming, photographing and writing about them. In 1987, he created the Ranthambore Foundation to educate communities in the vicinity of Indian's Ranthambore National Park about the value of wildlife conservation.
Serving as presenter for BBC's 'The Tiger Crisis', 'The Land of the Tiger' and other TV programs increased Valmik Thapar's international visibility. He was profiled in Time Magazine's Heroes for the Planet in 1999.
For more on Thapar's work, see:
Saving India's Troubled Tigers (Feb 22, 1999, Time.com)
The Tiger's Best Friend (2001, National Wildlife Foundation)
The Big Cat Crusader (Apr 09 2005, The Telegraph)
India: Land of the Tiger - Behind the Scenes (pbs.org)
Thapar has also authored numerous books on tigers, including
Valmik Thapar's love for tigers is not unique in India. Sanctuary Asia lists other Tiger People - notable Indian conservationists who worked tirelessly to save the tiger's habitat.