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Tigers - Gone in a Flash This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      What do you think of whenyou hear the word "tiger"... power, pride, fierceness, strength,perhaps? The truth is, tigers need strength. They are at the top of theendangered species list, and theirs are the most frequently traded parts of anyanimal on the black market. Tigers have a right to live on this planet; we tookover their home, not the other way around. Shouldn't future generations have thechance to see these magnificent animals in the wild?

Of the eightsubspecies of tigers, three have become extinct in the last 70 years: the Balitiger in the 1930s, the Caspian tiger in the 1970s, and the Javan tiger in the1980s. Of the remaining five, the South China tiger no longer exists in the wild,and only 50 remain in zoos. The other four types - the Bengal, Indo-Chinese,Siberian and Sumatran (limited to the island of Sumatra) - live in small, widelydispersed areas with an estimated population between 4,600 and 7,700.

Tigers once lived in a vast wilderness as far north as Siberia, as far south asthe island of Bali, as far west as Turkey, and as far east as the Russian andChinese coastlines. Since the 1900s, though, the tiger's habitat and numbers hasbeen reduced up to 95%.

Habitat destruction is one of the main problemsthe tiger faces. An adult male can eat between 40 and 100 pounds of meat a day,which means they need lots of prey to hunt. Subsequently, tigers have territoriesthat range from 10 to 600 square miles. People are encroaching on the land tigersneed and clearing it for crops, livestock grazing and industrial expansion. Thegrowing human population is part of the problem; tigers have to compete withpeople for space and food, and with the increasing number of people, tigers haveless chance of winning.

The other problem that faces the tigerpopulation is poaching. Poachers kill tigers to sell their parts on the blackmarket for use in traditional Asian medicines. Poachers have been known to - andcontinue to - poison water holes, set snares to kill tigers and their prey, andpoison carcasses of tiger prey. In Indonesia between 1970 and 1993, almost 9,000pounds of tiger bone was illegally transported to Japan. That's equal to 400tigers (the weight of one tiger's bones is about 22 pounds)! In 1991 alone,one-third of the Siberian tiger population was killed to meet the demands of theblack market.

If we don't take action soon, the entire tiger populationcould be extinct in the wild within the next few years. The only place futuregenerations would be able to see tigers would be behind bars, in zoos. Tigersdeserve to be free, and to be able to roam what is left of our quickly vanishingwilderness. Don't you agree?




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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coolsam730 said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 4:47 am:

good article,but needs stuff

 

 
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