Tigers. Everyone loves this gorgeous and iconic animal. We pin up photos of them. We add them to company logos. We include them in sports team names. Our beloved house cats come from the same gene pool. It is my Chinese horoscope’s symbol! Why on Earth is it classified as endangered then? Today, due to poaching and habitat loss, we have lost a whopping 97% of tigers in just over 100 years. Please read that fact again as it is seriously mind boggling. In the early 1900s, there were approximately 100 000 tigers. Today, there are as little as 3200 left. How long can the tiger survive at such a low population? The status of “endangered” has a great risk of changing to status of “extinct.” Tigers extinct? That’s beyond absurd. But did you know that tigers have subspecies? Some of the subspecies are either extinct in the wild or fully extinct. That’s right. Some of the tigers’ subspecies have already been wiped off the face of our planet forever due to human actions. That scary fact means that it actually is not impossible that the tiger species as a whole is at risk of going extinct. Is that acceptable to you? It is absolutely NOT acceptable to me.
There are reasons that seem beyond our control of why tigers are in peril due to habitat loss and poaching. They include agriculture, logging, growing populations, greed, corruption, and misguided cultural beliefs that tiger parts can heal people. Even if that were true, killing endangered species for traditional medicine is unethical and unacceptable. Period. What we can control from afar is educating ourselves and then educating others. Donating to or volunteering with organizations that help to save tigers. Signing petitions. Writing blog articles. Starting your own club or organization. Please do at least one thing to help save one of the world’s most magnificent animals. An animal that has the right to live among us where its very first ancestor appeared on our beautiful planet 2 million years ago. Together, let’s protect our tigers – now.