The tiger and the unicorn

Conservation and the art of the deal

Featured in

  • Published 20231107
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-89-4
  • Extent: 207pp
  • Paperback, ePub, PDF, Kindle compatible

HENRY IS THIRTEEN years old and weighs 189 kilograms. His job could best be described as ‘ambassador’ – a charismatic diplomat for the plight of his species. One of a bumper crop of Amur (Siberian) cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in 2010, he will almost certainly die there after a long and reasonably content life of horse-meat shish kebabs and carefully designed ‘tiger enrichment’. His namesake: Henry Williamson, Wizard of Wall Street, founder of Tiger Holdings, and long-time trustee of the non-profit responsible for managing the zoo.

Henry Williamson launched Tiger Holdings in 1980 with US$8 million dollars. At its peak, his fund was the largest in the market, worth over US$20 billion. But Henry’s legacy rests largely on the enduring market power of what became known as the ‘Tiger Cubs’, a well-networked clique of financiers he mentored and funded unto their own fortunes as the natural heirs to his ambition. When Henry died, big-cat non-profits eulogised him in feline terms: ‘The rarest of breeds…a unique combination of refined elegance, trenchant intellectual power, and boyish charm, [he] strode across his various ecosystems much like the charismatic megafauna after which he named his iconic firm.’

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Fred Hill

Fred Hill was born in New York City and now lives on Cammeraygal land in Sydney. She has worked across several climate and environmental...

More from this edition


Poetry the book holds the horse – rustling in there, taking pages between lips, rubbing upper lip across them, nostrils twin jets of air as it seeks sweetness maybe...

The animal in the walls

Non-fictionScrambling the scientific assumptions of the time, fungi and fungi-like organisms also gained new cultural and symbolic meanings. They began to sprout in the claustrophobic houses of gothic fiction and the swamps of horror; in the centre of the Earth and on the distant moons of science fiction; in utopian tracts, revolutionary and anti-revolutionary literature; and in the parasitic infections of the post-apocalyptic.

The rabbit real

Non-fictionI know you want to ask me if I had a difficult childhood, if I suffered physically or mentally in any way that might swerve from the ‘normal’ pattern of development. But I have nothing to report: no tales of abuse to exploit through memoir; no scars to split open for internal poking. I had friends when I wanted them but was also happy when alone with the rabbit.

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.