Today wild tigers exist in Eastern Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bhutan, India and Nepal. In order to live in the wild, tigers need water to drink, animals to hunt, and vegetation in which to hide. As the mountains, jungles, forests, and long grasses that have long been home to tigers disappear, so too, do tigers. Agricultural expansion, timber cutting, new roads, human settlement, industrial expansion and hydroelectric dams push tigers into smaller and smaller areas of land. These small areas of forests are surrounded by rapidly growing and relatively poor human populations, including increasing numbers of illegal hunters. Tigers compete with an expanding human population and industry for land and food, many tigers are killed by poachers who sell the tiger’s body parts as ingredients for traditional Chinese medicines. If these trends continue, the wild tiger may evolve from being an endangered species and off the endangered species list to become an extinct species. Without wilderness, the wild tiger will not survive.
If the world is not careful, one of the beautiful creatures on the planet will become extinct. Everyday more and more tigers are being slaughtered for their skin, bones, meat, and other organs to produce clothes, home décor, medicine, food and even alcohol. For example bones are soaked in alcohol to make wine, and ground up bone mixed with herbs is believed to relieve pain such as arthritis. The tiger’s penis is used in a soup that is believed to enhance sexual performance, and the eyes of tigers are believed to be able to treat epilepsy and malaria (O’Heill, 2008). To protect tigers from poachers and the rapidly increasing loss of land, wildlife conservationists have worked with governments to establish wildlife reserves. Most reserves, however, are isolated islands of forestry in which tigers have little chance to survive due to the difficulty of meeting mates, the...
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