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Tiger population rises in India
Smile please, dear tiger
The tiger is the largest (max. 2.8 m) and heaviest (220 kg) of the cat family. It is a powerful animal. It acts with quiet, caution, and secrecy. It can kill animals much larger than itself. There are five varieties namely Bengal tiger (living in India), Siberian tiger (in Russia), South China tiger, Sumatran tiger (Sumatra) and Indo-Chinese tiger (Vietnam, Thailand).
The Bengal tiger has the classic orange and black tiger’s coat. It guards its own territory and usually hunts alone. Tigers hunt deer, wild pigs and large animals for food. Having excellent eyesight and hearing, they can track animals even in the dark. After biting its prey and dragging it into thick cover, they eat enough (about 40 kg) and then conceal the carcass with leaves so they can return to it later on. Their hunting time is night and resting time is day. A male tiger roams an area of 100 sq km. Females occupy smaller territories. A male tiger defines its boundary with scent markings, droppings and scratch marks. Tigers communicate by roaring and moaning to covey its sex, size and its area. During summer, they take bath in rivers and pools. They love water. Their breeding season is November to April. Tiger couple may mate many times over two days. The female tiger gives birth to her cubs in a den and rears them on her own. The mother goes on hunting more often to feed the cubs but never moves far from her cubs. The youngsters live with their mother until the age of two.
Most Bengal tigers live in India but some also live in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. Their lifespan is 26 years. In India, the Hindu deity Durga is believed to ride on a tiger. People believe that tigers attack humans from behind. So, to prevent tiger’s attack, they wear a mask showing a face on the back of their heads. Rajasthan state in India was once ideal tiger habitat. India has 39 tiger reserves across the country.
Save the Tiger
Tigers are endangered animals. The demand for tiger body parts for traditional medicine is the greatest threat to the survival of the tiger. India initiated projects to protect tigers from poaching. Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan is working to protect tigers. The tiger census report released recently (March 26, 2011) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests indicated that there has been an increase of 295 tigers in India. The Shivalik Gangetic plains has 353 tigers, central India and Eastern Ghats have 601 tigers, Western Ghats 534, the northeast hills and Brahmaputra floodplains 148 and the Sunderbans 70. The population of tigers in India is estimated to be 1706, whereas there were 1411 tigers in 2006.
How to help save the tiger
- Join an appropriate wildlife organization to help
- Support rural self-help programmes in Asia through major charities
- 'Adopt' a tiger living in zoo nearby
- Do not purchase traditional Asian medical products that contain ingredients from tiger
- Visit the website http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/ for further action
- Make eco-friendly tours
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