Saving Tigers


A. M Gilbert, Journalist

Tigers. Beautiful majestic, elegant creatures that roam the jungles and still hold many people in awe. Except these amazing creatures are rapidly disappearing, through habit loss, poaching, and fragmentation, these elegant life forms have been reduced from 80,000 to 3,500 over the last century. It has been predicted that they will be extinct in the wild in the next decade and the only ones left will be captive. There has generally been considered that there are eight different species of Tiger, but already three out of those eight have gone extinct, the remaining species are Bengal, Indo-Chinese, South China, Amur, and Sumatran Tigers. And all of these remaining tigers are critically endangered.  

In many cultures, because of the tiger’s strength and mythical power, tiger parts are thought to be able to cure diseases. Tiger bone, eyes, whiskers and teeth can be sold as cures of ground up into medicine and can be very expensive and gain a lot of money. Eyeballs are used to treat epilepsy and malaria, the tail is used to treat skin disease, bile is used to treat convulsions in children associated with meningitis, whiskers are used to treat toothaches, the brain is used to treat laziness and pimples, dung is used to cure boils, hemorrhoids, and cure alcoholism. Even though there are other ways to treat these symptoms that do not require the death of a tiger, people still use these just as often. This is a large reason tigers have been hunted, and why it has still been happening.

Another reason is that they are suffering from poaching, people like to hunt them for their coats, and novelty sport hunting. Tigers are like walking gold, they cost a fortune in the black market and the demands for tiger coats and medicine have continued to skyrocket. But it’s not poor locals that have been hunting the tigers as some people think, but an organized group of sophisticated international crime syndicates, this same trade group has also not only been wiping out the tigers but also Elephants, Rhinos and so many other species. This black market selling has brought at least 19 million dollars for this trade group. 

It has even gone as far as smuggling tigers from inside wildlife sanctuaries and sold these skins and bones. Which a completely awful thing to do and Ilegal. These organized poachers rarely use bullets to kill the tigers but instead use jaw traps because a bullet would puncture the skin and ruin the fur, and that would sell for less money. The poachers have a tremendous amount of knowledge about tiger behavior and they use this knowledge to get the biggest and best tigers, they normally go for the males because they have bigger coats, and that sells for more money than females with the smaller ones. The poachers are very good at skinning and removing the whiskers, bones, and teeth from the tiger and can finish in about three or four minutes. They are also very good at cleaning up so that there is less of a chance they would get caught. The organized poachers are nomadic and move from place to place hunting tigers and escaping from police and authorities. 

Poachers are not the only reason the tigers are disappearing. Their habitat is disappearing as well. Agriculture expansion, timber cutting, new roads, human settlement, industrial expansion and hydroelectric dams made by humans are pushing the tigers farther back and into very small areas of land where they could live and survive. Without wilderness, tigers can not survive in the wild. Almost all of the land where tigers live in India has been cut down and turned into rice cultivation sights. In China, almost 99% of the original forests have been cut down and the tigers have nowhere to live as well as being killed everywhere they go for medical products. Tigers can not even find anything to eat because humans hunt the same game as the tigers and tigers have had to resort to eating livestock and even humans! Tigers are one of the only animals, other than polar bears to have seen stalking humans.

We have been trying to help and preserve the tigers by making sanctuaries for them. Since tigers are solitary creatures and do not like to interact with others of their kind except to mate and to raise offspring, it is getting increasingly hard to make it so that the tigers do not run into each other and kill each other. As well as the fact that it is getting harder to keep the poachers out and keep the tigers safe. Though there have been bans on tiger hunting and medicine trade, the laws have been weak and the hunting of tigers has continued to progress, killing more and more as they go.

There have, however, been many attempts to keep tigers alive and to help them survive, and many people agree that one of the reasons that the tigers have not already gone extinct is through the wildlife sanctuaries provided to keep the tigers safe. And many zoos have been breeding the tigers in captivity so that there will be many new Tiger cubs and the population of the tigers can continue to grow. And through these attempts on helping the tigers, much has been done.

But even though many people are trying there are still people out there at this very minute killing tigers for their fur and body parts. And soon if nothing else is done, this endangered species will soon be extinct and all they will be to us is a memory and a deep regret that we did not try hard enough to preserve these amazing creations.

All of you reading this article can now see how much tigers need your help, and all of you could very easily make a difference and could help preserve these amazing animals. By donating to people trying to make a difference, by researching into the problem at hand, by seeing what you can do. Because these amazing beautiful majestic animals are counting on anyone, anywhere who can help them in any way possible to survive on our earth and to keep living and breathing. 


Links to sources

The whole story on tiger crisis –

Save the wild tigers –