July 29, 2015- We celebrate International Tiger Day. It is a day to educate people about the status of tigers in the wild. We have lost 97% of all wild tigers in a bit over 100 years. Instead of 100,000, as few as 3000 live in the wild today. A number of Tiger species have already been extinct.
Tigers may be one of the most admired animals, but they are also vulnerable to extinction.
At this rate, all tigers living in the wild could be extinct in 5 years!
Bengal Tiger, Siberian/Amur Tiger, Sumatran Tiger, Malayan Tiger, and the Indochinese Tiger.
Extinct Tiger Species
The Balinese Tiger became extinct in 1937 and until that time they resided on the Island of Bali. In the 1950’s the Caspian Tiger became extinct.
The Siberian, also known as the Amur tiger, are the largest cat in the world. Amur tigers were once found throughout the Russian Far East, northern China, and the Korean peninsula. By the 1940s, hunting had driven the Amur tiger to the brink of extinction—with no more than 40 individuals remaining in the wild. The subspecies was saved when Russia became the first country in the world to grant the tiger full protection.
Tigers have excellent vision, hearing, sense of smell, and equilibrium (balance). They are nocturnal (active at night). Their eyes have adapted to reflect back light in a way that produces a better image in low light. This enables them to see approximately six times better than a human can in the same light.
Big cats such as Amur tigers also have very developed binocular vision (with two eyes working together at the same time), giving them great depth perception. They also use their long, stiff whiskers as feelers to help them sense branches and other objects as they move around in the dark.
They typically hunt alone and stalk prey. A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time. On average, tigers give birth to two or three cubs every two years. If all the cubs in one litter die, a second litter may be produced within five months.
Tigers are one of Betty White's favorite animals. On May 9, 2013, Betty adopted a Sumatran Tigress and her baby cub on behalf of Valerie Harper, star of TV's "Rhoda." for mothers day.
Just like Valerie and the tigress, they both are mothers fighting for their survival. Valerie, adopted daughter Cristina at age 4 in 1987, and was diagnosed with a rare terminal brain cancer on January 15, 2013.
The tigress and her new cub also had to fight to overcome challenges of an alarmingly diminishing population. Due to agricultural habitat destruction and poaching, Sumatran tigers are an endangered species; only 250 to 300 remain in the wild.
Betty co-starred with Valerie Harper on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. They have been long time friends since then. The Mary Tyler Moore cast had a special reunion during a taping on one of the episodes of Hot in Cleveland which aired September 4, 2013.
You can adopt a tiger at most zoo's
or to help tigers go to http://tigerday.org/