I love Tigers!
Tyger Tyger, burning bright
What I'm going to tell you is shocking. Sadly, it's more than possible that tigers could be gone by the end of 2015. There are fewer than 5,000 tigers left!
There are about 7 million smaller cats just like me in Australia, let alone the rest of the world, so we don't really appreciate how our majestic cousins are under the hammer.
Why are the tigers close to extinction? What is essentially wrong with humans that they can so blatantly slaughter a whole species? The answer of course is money. If there is one thing that I truly deplore, it's the murder of living creatures for material gain.
What immortal hand or eye - Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
Where have all the tigers gone?
Once tigers ranged from Java, Bali, southern Asia, eastern Turkey, to the eastern shores of Asia on the Okhotsk Sea, to the island of Sumatra, and to the west of India.
Today, tigers are not found west of India or on the islands of Java and Bali. The remaining tigers are in China, Southern Asia, and Russia's far east but these are mostly isolated habitats.
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
It's true - no exaggeration
The Sale of Body Parts
Bits of tigers such as teeth, claws, skin pieces, whiskers, bones, fat and liver of a tiger are prized as medicines. Bones are still openly on sale in Indonesia, despite tough new laws designed to protect the endangered Sumatran tiger.
Tigers have long been a revered icon in Oriental culture, and tiger bone has historically been used to treat rheumatism in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
I believe that other parts of a tiger are sought by some backward males of the human species for reasons which are totally beyond me.
The Endangered Siberian Tiger
The Human Predator
Humans are the deadliest animals on the planet
The main predator of the tiger is the human.
Tigers have been trapped, poisoned and hunted heavily for skins and sources of traditional medical products. They are also hunted for sport!
Superstition has surrounded tigers for centuries. Necklaces of tiger claws are thought to protect a child from "the evil eye"; in Malaysia, tiger whiskers are considered a dreadful poison but thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac in Indonesia. In Pakistan the whiskers of a tiger are believed to be an aid in childbirth.
Humans have also altered the natural habitats of tigers by their destruction and encroachment on the tigers' feeding range; humans are destroying their habitats by cutting down trees, moving into their preferred locations, polluting the water and air, and hunting their prey.
Scary but somehow exciting
Life After People - If you vanish tomorrow, the cats have a chance
This is an incredible 'documentary' with excellent computer-generated images of decay and the ravages of time.
I must warn you that the beginning is a little hard to watch, the discussion of the fate of domestic dogs is just heartbreaking, but it's good news for cats. If people suddenly disappear, we would take over!
The Tigers of Sumatra - Panthera tigris sumatrae
Sumatran tigers sit in their exhibit at a zoo in Jakarta. Laws protecting the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger have failed to prevent tiger body parts being offered on open sale.
The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of all. Males are roughly half the weight of the Siberian Tiger and the females are smaller again.
The primary threat to this rare tiger species is encroachment by humans. Sumatra's neighboring island Java has a tremendous population of about 110 million people and every year about six hundred thousand people emigrate from Java to Sumatra. This influx is compounded by the fact that Java's population increases by two million a year. You don't have to be as smart as a cat to figure out that this huge yearly human population increase is at the expense of the Sumatran Tiger's habitat.
If nothing is done, the Sumatran Tiger will become extinct like the Java Tiger which was last seen in 1975.
The Tigers of Siberia
Siberian Tiger family
Siberian Tigers are still in the birch forests of eastern Russia, though some exist in China and North Korea.
There are an estimated 400 to 500 Siberian tigers living in the wild. Though their northern climate is far harsher than those of other tigers, these big cats have some advantages. Northern forests offer the lowest human density of any tiger habitat, and the most complete ecosystem.
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
Show your Support for Tigers
Adult Black Tee
This black Tee-shirt featuring the beautiful Bengal Tiger is called Face Off for the two tigers on either side of the front.
The shirt is 100% cotton and hand dyed. The detailed design was professionally printed and won't wash out, it's actually embedded in the fabric of the shirt.
The shirt is pre-washed, pre-shrunk and was made using water-based inks and dyes - good for the environment and free of chemicals that may harm your body!
Get your own Bengal Tiger Face Off T-Shirt
from: Australian Native T-Shirts
Do your bit - For a few dollars a month
- Adopt a Tiger
How you can help by adopting a tiger
All comments appreciated. You don't have to be a tiger (or even a cat) to leave yours.
© 2009 Vladimir