an3.gif (21729 bytes)Tigers Are Almost Gonean3.gif (21729 bytes)

The Tigers Will Be All Gone Soon
   The tiger is an endangered species. It is estimated that there are about 4,000 - 6,000 wild tigers today, although some estimates are as high as 7,500. There are about 1,150 kept in captivity. Because of the decline of territory and poaching, tigers starve to death and show sharp declines in their populations. Severe loss of habitat due to the growth and spread of man amplify this by causing the tiger to have a smaller territory than normal.
   In the 20th century tigers were considered pests because they would prey on farmers stalks. Russia and China offered a bounty as compensation for their destruction, so tigers were shot or poisoned carelessly. Hunting tigers became very popular in the 1900's, especially with the Indian upper class and British officers. In Russia, the soldiers would hunt tigers as part of training to increase courage in battle.
   This needless killing has created habits that are still rearing their ugly heads today. Even though it is now illegal to hunt any tiger, they are still being slaughtered by poachers. This is the pre-eminent threat to the Siberian tiger; any animal for that matter. They still hunt these beautiful cats primarily for their coats, bones, and other body parts. The bones and other body parts are used in traditional oriental medicines. Since the USSR collapsed, poaching of tigers and of their prey has caused sharp declines in the Siberian tiger population.
   Recent research has shown that even though the selling or trading of any products made from tigers is illegal the business is booming. The purchasing of these products will soon wipe out the species. Investigations have found out that the illegal selling of animal products is 1.7 billion dollar a year business. A tiger skin can sell for as much as $10,000, its bones are sold as medicine and its eyes as good luck charms. This is WRONG! The saddest thing is that we are all a part of it. Think of this: If we didn't put a market out there for this stuff, then the poachers wouldn't have any place to sell it.
   The governments of the world are not going to be able to stop this insane slaughtering of animals by themselves, we all must help.

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