YOUNG WORLD

Where are you, Tiger?

A booklet with interesting information about the tiger, in an effort to spread awareness about the vanishing species.

ANASUYA MENON

Where are you, Tiger?

There may be very few among us who do not marvel at the charm of the tiger — its glowing fur, marble-like eyes and stealthy gait.

The animal has held in fascination many a poet, writer and storyteller. How many enthralling stories of the big cat have we been hearing for years?

A booklet released by the Zoo Outreach Organisation has packed in a lot of interesting facts about the tiger.

Did you know that each tiger's pugmark is different from another, just like our fingerprint. The pugmark can reveal the tiger's age, sex and health.

Haven't you wondered how the tiger's claws are so sharp? Well, they sharpen their claws on the barks of trees, just like cats do.

CLARION CALL: Tiger population in India has dwindled due to poaching and deforestation.

CLARION CALL: Tiger population in India has dwindled due to poaching and deforestation.  

The largest of terrestrial carnivores on earth, an adult male tiger weighs about 180-580 kg. A full-grown adult tiger can be about 4.6 to 9.3 feet long from snout to tail.

Even though tigers are found in different habitats, they are most commonly found in rain forests, mountain forests and arid lands. But, they can also survive on wetlands and grasslands.

There are eight sub-species of tigers in the world. But, three sub-species have become extinct. They are the Balinese Tiger, Caspian Tiger and the Javan Tiger.

The tiger population has dwindled to such alarming levels that it has become extremely important to conserve the tigers. They are hunted down for their skin, claws, bones and even teeth. Some medicines made from the tiger's body parts are believed to cure diseases. Widespread deforestation has also led to the decrease in tiger population in India, and Asia as a whole. Poaching of prey animals like deer and wild boar is also one of the reasons for the gradual decline in the number of tigers.

Forests are made richer by the sheer presence of these beautiful beasts. So, tigers need to be conserved before the remaining five sub-species vanish.

For details of the booklet, write to, Zoo Outreach Organisation, 29/1 Bharathi Colony, Peelamedu, Coimbatore 641004.

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