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International Tiger Day: 17 interesting tiger facts

The population of the majestic tiger, the big cat species that striked awe on fear in the hearts of many is steadily declining, which poses a severe threat to the ecosystem. Read on to know some amazing tiger trivia...

The Bengal Tiger
The Bengal Tiger

>> Of the 100,000 tigers that once roamed in the wild a century ago, only 3,890 are left behind, the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature has revealed in a 2016 report. However the WWF noted that world's count of wild tigers has risen for the first time in a century in 2016.

>> Between January 2000 and April 2014, authorities across Asia seized parts of at least 1,590 tigers, killed for traditional medicines, the organisation said, citing figures from the wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic.

>> The WWF has warned that the largest of all the Asian big cats could go extinct in the wild primarily due to poaching and habitat loss. Poaching is the "most immediate threat to wild tigers" since their parts are used for "traditional medicine, folk remedies, and increasingly as a status symbol among some Asian cultures".

>> India is home is about half the world's tiger population with 1706 tigers.

>> Out of the 9 species of tigers 6 exist in the world today. They are:
- Siberian Tigers
- Bengal tigers
- Indochinese tigers
- Malayan tigers
- Sumatran tigers
- South China tigers

The 3 extinct subspecies are:
- Bali tigers
- Caspian tigers
- Javan tigers

>> A Bengal tiger's roar can carry for over 2km at night.

>> Tigers use their distinctive coats as camouflage (no two have exactly the same stripes).

>> The tiger like its ancesor, the saber-tooth cat relies on its powerful teeth for survival and is likely to starve to death if it loses its canines or tearing tee th through injury or old age since it cannot kill without them.

>> Tigers are good swimmers and often cool off in lakes and streams during the heat of the day.

>> A Bengal tiger can eat 21kg of meat in a night and can kill the equivalent of 30 buffaloes a year.

Liger
A liger

A tigon. Pic/YouTube
A tigon. Pic/YouTube

>> There are two hybrid species of the tigers namely, the liger and the tigon. The liger is a  hybrid that results from the mating of a male lion and a tigress while the tigon is the result of the breeding between a male tiger and a lioness.

>> Although on considered a separate subspecies tigers with unusual colours exist. These are generally white tigers and golden tigers. The white tiger can result from two parent tigers that carry the rare gene that are present in white tigers, which occurs only once every 10,000 births. Like the white tiger, the golden tiger is also the result of a recessive gene that gives it a golden or in some cases strawberry-coloured hue with thicker fur. It's bigger than an average Bengal tiger and like the white tiger is a native species of Bengal. Golden tigers have gold-coloured fur, with pale orange stripes and strong but pale-coloured legs.

A white tiger
A white tiger

Golden tiger
A golden tiger. Pic/YouTube

Apart from the above two, there are several tigers with other colours, that have been reported over the years, namely the black tiger, blue or slate-coloured tigers known as Maltese tigers but none of these have been confirmed.

>> As well as game animals, tigers prey on wild boar, monkeys, lizards and occasionally porcupines.

>> Tigresses give birth to litters of two to six cubs, which they raise with little or no help from the male. Cubs cannot hunt until they are 18 months old and remain with their mothers for two to three years, when they disperse to find their own territory.

>> Old or injured tigers have been known to attack humans and domestic cattle.

>> If the kill is large, the tiger may drag the remains to a thicket and loosely bury it with leaves, then return to it later.
 
International Tiger Day?
International Tiger Day is observed annually on July 29 to give worldwide attention to the reservation of tigers. Founded at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, it was done because at that moment wild tigers were too close to extinction. The goal of Tiger Day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation.

Information courtesy: http://tigerday.org/

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