International Tiger Day
Today is International Tiger Day! 🐅
And of course 2022 is the Year of the Tiger… Year of the Water Tiger to be exact, so I picked a photo of a tiger in water for the occasion. 😊 In honor of these great animals, here’s a few facts you might find interesting, starting with their most iconic feature: their stripes…
🐅Tiger stripes are unique! Each tiger’s stripe pattern is different, much like human fingerprints. And it isn’t just their fur — the stripes are on their skin too! They are so well-known for their stripes, that other striped animals are named after them (like the Tiger Shark).
🐅Tiger roars can be heard about 2 miles away! And speaking of tiger sounds, like most other big cats, they can’t purr. (The only big cat that can is the cheetah…but enough about cheetahs, this is a post for tigers! )
🐅The largest member of the cat family, tigers were classified into 9 subspecies, but 3 have gone extinct and 1 (the South China Tiger) is considered functionally extinct (about 20-30 survive only in captivity). 🥺
🐅Tigers used to live all across Asia and even as far West as the Middle East, Turkey, and Ukraine (the now extinct Caspian Tiger), but hunting, poaching, and habitat loss has reduced their range to about 7% of what it was! 😢
🐅Tigers are a protected species, but there is still illegal trade of fur and other body parts. In the 1990s, tigers (and rhinos) were removed from the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and most Chinese Medicine practitioners only use alternative herbs or non-threatened/sustainable animal substitutes, decrying the use of threatened and endangered species and inhumanely harvested products. But the reality is that a lucrative black market still exists😠. Some good news is that tiger populations have increased over the past couple decades, but they are still in a perilous situation with only an estimated 4500 living in the wild. Let’s hope one day soon everybody will see tigers as more valuable alive than dead!
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