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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a seven year old, Dad took us to the Washington DC zoo, where I saw my first tigers in the flesh. Their huge size, majestic bearing, left an imprint on me that hasn't been forgotten.
Since then, I have been fascinated by big cats, and tigers are my favorite.
An endangered species, tigers have been persecuted by our species for centuries. Today, the main threats are poaching for the quack Chinese medicine trade, and a burgeoning human population.
Tigers occur in six subspecies, two of which, the Siberian, and the Bengal, are the world's largest cats.Other subspecies are smaller, with a Malayan tiger being no larger than a Bengal tigress. Male Bengals and Siberians can top 600 pounds on occasion, and measure over ten feet in total length.
Recent news shows that wild tiger numbers have increased for four of the six subspecies.
Bengal tigers now number 0ver 2500, Siberians near 450, and Indo Chinese near 600. Only the Sumatran tiger's number holds static, at around 400, and the South China tiger may be extinct in the wild, but there is a program to introduce captive born South China tigers to their former haunts.
The tiger is an iconic species, and everyone should be glad to see an increase in the numbers of the King of Cats!
B2, a dominant male Bengal tiger of over 600 pounds.
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