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Is the tiger a symbol of power or the fragility of life?
roar slowly shatters, with glass
disappears when shot.
For more on writing Haiku, please visit this hub on How to Write a Haiku on Nature by Daisy Mariposa.
When we think of tigers, awe, majesty and fear come to mind.
The sad truth is that this ruthless king of the jungle has been stripped of his throne by another, more ferocious one, No prizes for guessing who that might be.
The tiger, as we have all come to know him, is a true representative of might. This animal is also a symbol of delicacy in the many senses of the word.
Fun facts about tigers
- They are the largest of the big cats.
- They have evolved from ancient tigers over 2 million years.
- Their striped bodies make camouflage in tall grass
- Tigers are ferocious hunters,but do not often make the kill in a way that is expected.
- They are liners, unlike lions who move in prides
How do tigers mate?
The tendency to be loners holds true for mating as well.After mating, they go on their separate jungle paths.
The mother then finds a den for her cubs.
She feeds them milk for 8 weeks before they can venture outside the den with her.
How are tigers being endangered?
There are only 6 out of nine subspecies of tigers left on this Earth.Most species have less than 1000 remaining.
It does not help that this great beast has a dubious reputation.They have received much bad press for being known to attack members of the crowd in circuses or in zoos.
A sign of them decreasing is that many do not live to be more than 2 years of age.
Poaching is rampant because of the demand for the tiger's body parts believed to have medicinal properties.It is a well-known aphrodisiac. Tigers are not being helped because their home, the tropical rainforest, is constantly being encroached upon and destroyed
Endangered Tiger Species
The Siberian or Amur Tiger
This great cat, which lives in the Sinkhote Alin mountains of the Russian Far East. An estimated, small population in the 300s still live in the wild. It is thought that the ancestors of the Amur dominated the Central Asian and Silk Road region 10000 years ago and moved to Siberia.
The Indochinese Tiger
Sadly, this majestic creature living in the forests of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia has been classified as endangered by the IUCN. The extent of its decline is reaching hazardous proportions, as they are now being labeled as highly endangered. The status of its population is not well known.
The Sumatran Tiger
This rare subspecies of tiger dominates the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is the only living member of the Sunda group of tigers that included the Balinese and Javan Tigers, now hunted to extinction. The population of this rare cat is in the low 400s.
The South China Tiger
Also known as the Amoy or Xiamen tiger, this subspecies is native to the Southern Chinese regions of Fujian, Hunan,Guangdong and Jiangxi. It is a sad victim of deforestation and the loss of habitat. Bowing to human pressure, the population declined to a mere 30 to 40 individuals by 1987. They are mainly found in reserves in the SIchuan Province. Considered functionally extinct by scientists, there are only a few individual tigers which have not yet fallen prey to the loss of their forest homes.
The Bengal Tiger
The hardiest and most numerous of these striped cats, the Bengal Tiger numbers over 2500 in India. This number, though is steadily decreasing. The White Tiger is a recessive mutant of this subspecies.
The Malayan Tiger
The Malayan Tiger makes the central and southern parts of the Malay Peninsula its home. The population is estimated at between the 400s to 1000, and like the others, its population faces a declining trend. Its local name is harimau (tiger) bilang.
Extinct: The Balinese Tiger
The Balinese Tiger or the harimau Bali once roamed the Indonesian Island of Bali. It was one of the three subspecies of tigers which lived in Indonesia. The others included the Javanese Tiger, also extinct, and the Sumatran Tiger.
Extinct :Javan Tiger
The Javan Tiger, which roamed the island of Java, was another victim of the loss of natural habitat. It declined between the 1930s to the 1950s. The last of these tigers was spotted in 1979.
Extinct: The Caspian Tiger
Now extinct, the Caspian Tiger roamed the areas of Turkey, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Central Russian forests till the 1970s. It is another victim of poaching and deforestation.
The efforts to conserve the tiger
Conservationists are sparing no effort to save this majestic animal from extinction. These efforts include counting the tiger population and discussing the heated issue of cloning.
Indonesia is in the wildlife hot seat to ensure that its sole remaining subspecies, the Sumatran tiger, does not meet a tragic end.The Government of the country is seeking to curb the disturbing trend of tiger disappearance and poaching. Laos, Thailand & Myanmar (home of the Indo Chinese Tiger) are following suit, as is Malaysia (home of the Malaysian Tiger.)
Ways we can help save the tiger
- Give moral support to the governments, conservationists and rangers working for the conservation of tigers.
- Do not buy anything that supports the use of tiger parts
- Spread the word!
- Buy forest friendly products.
Last Tasmaninan Tiger
Picture this: the last time we saw a Tasmanian devil was in Thylacine in 1933. Will the tigers we know today meet the same fate? Is the tiger a symbol of power or fragility? It is for us to decide.
Other haiku by Michelle Liew
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