The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat on the planet.There are several sub-species of tigers and some of them are already extinct.You can read about tigers on this wikipedia article.
A recent tiger census reports that the number of tigers left in the wild in India is 1411.This figure may be higher than the actual number because the methods used to count them are outdated and inaccurate at best and grossly misleading otherwise.We shall have to wait for a more accurate number.This is possible only if the big cats are counted using modern technology.
But will they wait till we count them? I do not think so.The rate at which tigers are disappearing,no one would be surprised if they become extinct within a few years.Already some tiger reserves are reserves only in name.There are no tigers left in them.You can read about it on this link.
Not just tigers,other big cats like lions,cheetahs,leopards,panthers,etc. are on the verge of extinction throughout the world.The cheetah became extinct in India long ago and lions are restricted to a handful of isolated pockets,the largest among them being the Gir National Park in the state of Gujarat.Unless we put an immediate end to poaching,trade in body parts of big cats,destruction of habitat,etc. the big cats would disappear,never to return.That would be a sad fate for these majestic beasts that once roamed the planet fearlessly . . .
A Siberian tiger enjoying the sunshine . . .
Another adult . . .
. . . and an albino !
The above photographs have been taken from http://www.copyright-free-photos.org.uk
It is sad isn’t it, the declining tiger population. I too believe that one day this cat will become extinct, at least in the wild.
Thanks for expressing your concern about the big cats.Yes,sadly,future generations will be able to have a glimpse of these cats only in zoos,and that too,only for some time 😦 That would be bad because they have a right to exist on our planet as much as us humans.
At this rate,in the future,we would only have the little domestic cats left with us.
Check this link. i could not find the documentary
There are so many animals that are getting extinct… sometimes i wonder 2-3 generations down the line, kids will learn about tigers like how we know about say a dinosaur!
a couple of days back i was watching a documentary on Animal Planet. It was all about a family that has dedicated its life to the wild life. They actually tame wild animals, especially wild cats. The episode was all about saving an african leopard cub who was named ‘eddie’. This cub actually grew up with human beings till about 4 months of age and was then left in wild! beautiful documentary.
Yes,I agree with you.A few decades down the line,kids will learn about many animals (and many plants) only from pictures.
Thanks for posting that link ! That family is doing a great job.And “Eddie” is a beautiful big cat.I think an all black leopard is quite rare.
Thankfully,our ancestors had domesticated cats to get rid of mice and also as pets.It is good that they did that because at least the small cats will be saved from extinction.
So, tigers are also safe in South India!! 🙂
Thanks for that link!I believe that the situation in South India is better than the North and the North-East because the tigers in the South live in isolated hilly reserve forests like Mudhumalai,Kalakkad-Mundanthurai and Topslip.But we should not become complacent at all.Illegal poaching and brutal trapping and killing of these magnificient creatures by some scoundrels has put a serious question mark on their future.We must save this cat and other big cats like leopards and panthers from becoming extinct!