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Is the tiger a symbol of power or the fragility of life?

Updated on February 18, 2013
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Haiku: Tiger

Brave, fallible

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.

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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.

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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

Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger | Source

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.

Indochinese Tiger
Indochinese Tiger | Source

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.

Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger | Source

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.

South China Tiger
South China Tiger | Source

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.

Bengal Tiger
Bengal Tiger | Source

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.

Malayan Tiger
Malayan Tiger | Source

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.

Hunted Balinese Tiger
Hunted Balinese Tiger | Source

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.

Javan Tiger
Javan Tiger | Source

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.

Caspian Tiger
Caspian Tiger | Source

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.

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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.)

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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

Conclusion

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.

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    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      It's strong, yet we've made it as fragile as it is, sadly.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Very cool hub, midget38. One frequently feels the strength of the tiger, not the fragility. Thanks!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Ah, forgot about the white tiger! Certainly fragile, yes!

    • supersaion9 profile image

      supersaion9 3 years ago from Citrus Heights

      What about white tigers ? lol :P

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Arrgh. I certainly hope not, Shutri. Thanks for sharing!

    • shrutiwrites profile image

      Shruti Nagar 4 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Great info! I feel sad at the loss; tiger was once India's pride (it still is), but I fear there will soon be a day when we would be able to see tigers only in zoos.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Oh, there are many.....and some have, unfortunately, disappeared. Thanks for sharing, Denise!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yep, it does....I just hope that its power builds and does not turn fragile. Thanks, Vinaya!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow! I had no idea how many types of tigers there are in the world. Awesome hub and haiku! Thanks for sharing this hub of this beautiful animal. I learned a lot. :) UP/I/U and sharing.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Lovely haiku.

      I believe tiger stands for power and bravery.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for sharing, Mike!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Ish! Yes, we'd better wake up before these great creatures vanish! Thanks!

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      When still a little boy, eagle was my favorite animal. But then again, I quickly changed to tigers! I still love them very much, so powerful animals!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Bravo! This is an elaborately-written hub highlighting the importance of saving these magnificent creatures which are on the verge of extinction which is really upsetting! Way to go!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared both on HubPages & Facebook

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes. And if we are not careful, there'd be no more of them left. Humanity needs to wake up. Thanks, Travmaj!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      So sad, these beautiful creatures are rapidly facing extinction. Your hub is written with compassion and understanding. Certainly that 'wake up' call in needed before it's too late. Thank you

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes they are, and it's a pity that these great beasts are slowly vanishing. It's time for man to wake up!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Eddy, let's continue to share poems! Been enjoying it!!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, they truly are majestic! Thanks, Aditya!

    • adity5 profile image

      adity5 4 years ago

      Tigers are such a majestic creature, but sadly due to illegal poaching activities their number is constantly decreasing. Nice hub !!

    • adity5 profile image

      adity5 4 years ago

      Tigers are such a majestic creature, but sadly due to illegal poaching activities their number is constantly decreasing. Nice hub !!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      What a true masterpiece Michelle and here's to many many more for us both to share on here. Have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I didn't realize how bad the situation was until I started writing on this and feel even more compelled to raise animal awareness now. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yup, like to raise awareness, Hatter. Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile image
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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Leslie!! Say hi to Tiger. Well, when it comes to facilitating their own needs, people would gladly sacrifice an animal. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, they're fearsome, yet vulnerable. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      LOL! Thanks, Linda! Yes, it was supposed to be quite aggressive. Won't start spinning like a top now! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Dana, for the compliment! Glad you like it!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Not surprising, they're cousins after all! Thanks for sharing, Carol!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi donna! It is terrible indeed. Have just updated this with more information, because I originally just wanted to focus on the haiku. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, and people kill them for their own needs, with abandon. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary! It's a pretty ugly creature, around till 1933. The one you saw in the video was the last one alive. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Ah, lovely coincidence, Janine! I've just updated this and hope that the girls will learn more about the tigers. Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Brave Warrior! They are supposed to be effective aphrodisiacs. The Taz is a weird one! Thanks for sharing. I hope the tigers will never meet its fate though.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, Mary, we do need to learn how to share what we have with the other wonderful examples of life around us. Thanks for sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I didn't realize these tigers were so endangered. Why would anyone want to harm these beautiful creatures? Thanks for the information and background. They are powerful!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this well researched hub. Love your concussion

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Beautiful haiku, Michelle...and beautiful tribute to the stunningly gorgeous creature - The Tiger!

      I am partial to tigers - i named my now-13-year-old soul-puppy Tiger..lol..cannot stand that they are endangered and cannot understand how anyone could possibly hurt such amazingly jaw-dropping majesty!

      up and sharing on, my friend!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      While reading your hub...I was thinking of life of pi movie.

      There was fear and yet their was power there...interesting hub, Michelle.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Tigers are beautiful creatures. I hope they live long and prosper.

      I have a good friend who lives in Tasmania, Australia...she has told me a few stories about the tazzie devil.

      Grrrreat Haiku! :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      very interesting info! great of you to spread awareness in an entertaining way.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Interesting about these little cute animals..HAHA. I have to settle for my stripe cats...Sometimes they seem like tigers. Voted UP+++

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      It makes me sad to see such beautiful creatures disappear from our planet. When will the human race learn to get our priorities straight! Beautiful photos :)

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Nice haïku!

      I love all the informations you wrote about the tiger. I designed a tiger mask on my website and I did some research as well and I find that terrible what people do to those animals. When we look at the statistics, they disappear so fast. It's so important to protect them!

      Well done!

      Voted up and useful :-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The title was excellent, the hub was informative and the cause honorable. Well done!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I think the Tiger is one of most beautiful of all creatures. I cannot imagine anyone killing on of these magnificent animals! Your video of the Tasmanian Tiger was interesting.....I'd never heard of that one.

      Voted UP, and will share, Pin and Tweet.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Ironic as it may be we were teaching Emma animals this very morning with the App on the iPhone and she knows the tiger, because of how it looks and even knew what the tiger says. Amazing that at 3 years old, they know stuff like this. Loved this and of course voted up and shared all over!!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I just love tigers. I sure hope they don't become extinct. I had no idea they are being killed for body parts! For what, pray tell?

      That Tasmanian Tiger is a funny looking creature. I looks like a dog with an opposum face!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      When will man wake up? We so need to learn to share our planet. Your photos are beautiful but the video made me cry to think that animal no longer exists because of us!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • midget38 profile image
      Author

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      On the need to conserve the tiger before it disappears, and a little haiku.