Abundant To Endangered: The Tiger Essay

1077 words - 5 pages

The largest cat species in the world (Panthera tigris), more commonly called the tiger, is native to Asia ranging from the Turkish border to Western Russia, splitting into subspecies with their change in location (“Sumantran”). The tiger is currently one of the most recognizable animals in the world with its orange coat, heavily contrasted by black stripes on its face and body, huge paws, and piercing eyes. A recent concern is how long the tiger will be so widely recognized. Tigers are an endangered species, so much so that three of nine subspecies have become extinct in the last century (du Plessis). Many factors have lead to the decline of the world’s tiger population including destruction ...view middle of the document...

Bengal tiger population is mainly in India with some in China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar(“Bengal”). Tiger preserves in India are helpful in the fight against human-related causes but natural occurrences have played a major part in the recent decline of tiger population. Due to climate change, sea levels have risen significantly throughout the islands and near coastal regions. Increase in sea levels even affects tigers living inland by shrinking the amount of land they have to live on (“Bengal”).The dramatic reduction of their environment not only affects their supply of land but the animals they prey on as well. In some regions, the main food sources of tigers have become endangered causing many tigers to die of starvation.
Cats are one of the most popular pets all over the world. In ancient Egyptian cultures, cats were considered gods and were worshipped as such. Today, the tiger is one of the most popular exotic cats bought and sold on the black market. The illegal sale of exotic and/or government protected animals is a multi-billion dollar industry, steadily increasing. Lenient laws with loopholes and exceptions in foreign countries make it easy for buyers, sellers, and smugglers to get animals and transport them all over the world (“Inside”). Tigers are caged, as wells as restrained on their backs with their heads hanging out of the cage restrained by metal bars around their necks. Between 80 and 90 percent of animals die during transport (“Inside”). Smuggled animals that survive the transportation process often go to warehouses in which they are kept to be sold as pets or in some foreign cases they are sold to “farms” where they are overbred to be killed for medicinal or commercial uses.
In China, tiger farms are home to hundreds of extremely malnutritioned tigers bred and killed for their bones which are thought to have medicinal advantages. (Meredith). Adult tigers are deboned and their skeletons are soaked in wine which can be sold for 130 euros per bottle while skins and heads are sold for up to 100,000 USD. Until 2008, one farm in particular in Xiongsen, China sold tiger steaks (“Tiger Farms”). “China bans the use of tiger parts in traditional Chinese medicine but overlooks the sale of alcohol-based health tonics steeped in...

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