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The Adroit Tawny Animal

Earth is one of the most beautiful planets in the solar system. It is green, with a wide assortment of various plant species and blue, filled almost 71.11percent of water. This planet is a home to millions and millions of different species, one small part of them being us. But we have an advantage. We are human beings, the creatures who have done the most damage yet to our beautiful earth ranging from deforestation to killing of animals and pollution problem. These problems have had a serious effect on the earth. It is depleting in many aspects, one of them being forests.
Forests are a home to many species of animals that are totally dependent on it for their survival. One of them is the national animal of India; one of the most majestic creatures, the tiger, who we are going to discuss.
The tiger, which belongs to the genus Panthera and specie Tigris, weighs from about 306 kg and is 11 feet in height. It is an animal which sports black stripes on its yellowish fur (or white fur as in white tiger). It is unique in many ways, and has a lifespan of about 20-26 years. Here’s a description of the life of a tiger.

After it is born, it is protected by its mother for a while, as the cubs are born blind and helpless. A male tiger plays no role in this. Then the mother lets the cubs walk around her territory. A territory of a tiger is the place where it lives. It is marked by the Tiger’s urine. Male tigers have a territory four times larger than a female’s. After feeding on the mother’s milk, when they are mature enough to eat meat, the mother has to hunt for them too. Tigers are usually swift and agile while catching their prey. Soon after they have grown up to be at least a year old, she teaches them how to hunt. This is something all the cubs have to learn, to survive when they have to leave their mother. At the age of two or three, female cubs are old enough to mate. Usually, the tigers are all by themselves at this stage.

Mating is the process by which the tiger cubs are born. A pair will copulate frequently and noisily, like other cats. Mating season is usually November to April. The male cat usually helps in guarding the cubs.
Tigers are found in many places, but most of the tiger population is restricted to one place- India. India has a rich variety of flora and fauna. There are many deciduous and evergreen jungles here, which support tiger life. They are also found in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sumatra and Siberia too.
The tiger may be on the top of the food chain as a secondary consumer, but it still faces many problems ranging from poaching, death at a very young age, deforestation and encroachment of territory by man. A tiger has to learn the survival skills taught by its mother to become a strong adult and have the capacity to hunt. If they don’t learn it, sooner or later, they may die of starvation. Some tigers die at a very young age, just after birth, either because of inability to survive or if another male defeats their father and kills them to get their mother, who usually doesn’t mate until her cubs are big enough to hunt and live on their own. So other males who want to mate with a female try to kill the cubs. But this is not the main reason a tiger has been listed as endangered by IUCN. The main reason is the loss of habitat and poaching.
Tigers lose their habitat because of humans entrenching in their territories. They have no place to go to. Sometimes, they also feed on human cattle and soon on humans themselves. Once a tiger becomes a man-eater, there is less chance of its survival, as people kill it. Traditional Chinese medicines use the tiger bones and other parts as medicines, so poaching of tigers is very common though it has been banned. The tigers are killed either by strangulation or by poisoning. Tiger skins are being worn in Tibet and they are still a sign of bravery and courage. These are serious issues which have to be looked into.
The governments of various countries have done all they can to save tigers. A major concerted conservation effort in India, known as Project Tiger, has been underway since 1973, initially spearheaded by Indira Gandhi. The fundamental accomplishment has been the establishment of over 25 well-monitored tiger reserves in reclaimed land where human development is categorically forbidden. The program has been credited with tripling the number of wild Bengal tigers from roughly 1,200 in 1973 to over 3,500 in the 1990s. However, a tiger census carried out in 2007, whose report was published on February 12, 2008, stated that the wild tiger population in India declined by 60% to approximately 1,411.
We have to do something soon to save this wonderful beast or our future generations may only see it on TV or in books. And worst, the balance of nature will be affected.



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