2Index Introduction The Tiger Family The Wild Tigers The Tiger Cubs The habitat of tigersTigers’ dietTiger AttacksWhy are tigers endangered?Tigers In CrisesThe Future For Tigers
3IntroductionAlmost everyone has seen a tiger in a zoo. But few people have seen a wild tiger. For hundred of years, tigers and humans lived around each other peacefully. Humans have built homes in what was once the tigers’ habitat in past 30 years.
4As hunting and forest destruction continued, tigers became rarer and rarer. Only twenty years ago, these beautiful striped cats were in serious danger of becoming extinct …… Now we are going to tell you the story of the tiger.
5The Tiger FamilyThere are eight kinds of tiger which are all listed in the data box behind. We call each different kind of tiger a subspecies. Three subspecies of tigers have recently become extinct. They are the Bali tiger, the Javan tiger and the Caspian tiger.White tigers are not a separate subspecies, but a rare kind of Indian tiger with a pale coat and blue eyes.
6There are only totally 7500 -8000 tigers left in the world! Based on estimates in Tigers of the World edsR.L. Tilson & U.S. Seal (Noyes, 1987)
7The Wild TigersIn the wild, adult tigers spend much of their time alone. Each tiger spends most of its time in a certain area of land called a territory. It stays in its territory to catch prey, to drink and to rest during the day. Tigers love to stay in water even hours long.
8Tigers scent-mark their territories by spraying urine on to trees or glass. The urine marks smell very strong and may last for several weeks. Each tiger has a slightly different smell. When another tiger smells, it knows that it is in another tiger’s territory.
10Tigers are the largest members of the cat family!
11The Tiger CubsTigers are ready to mate when they are three to four years old. In the wild, a tiger usually gives birth to a litter of three or four cubs. Tiger cubs are tiny, blind and helpless, weighing about 2 kg each. The cubs spend their first four to eight weeks of life hidden away in a den.
12Tiger cubs may start to eat meat when they are six weeks old Tiger cubs may start to eat meat when they are six weeks old. Before that, they need their mother’s milk. Soon after this they leave the den and follow their mother. However, they do not hunt with their mother until they are about six months old.
13Over the next year or so, they will learn how to hunt for themselves Over the next year or so, they will learn how to hunt for themselves. When the cubs are about two years of age, they leave their mother for good. Now each young tiger must set up a territory and learn to survive on its own. Then they will mate with others and birth other cubs.
14The habitat of tigersToday most tigers live in the forests of South-east Asia. Only Siberian tigers live in the very cold cedar forests of northern Asia. Some live in areas of grassland or in marshy swamps. All tigers need thick bushes to hide in. However, the habitats of tigers are lost rapidly recently.
15Tigers’ dietTigers are predators. They usually hunt deer and wild pig, but they will also eat monkeys, birds and even insects or crabs. Tigers mostly hunt at night. They catch their prey by stalking them. Then it kills the animal quickly, using its sharp canine teeth to bite the animal’s neck or throat.
16Tiger AttacksTigers generally attack someone for one of three reason: to get food, to defend or find new land, or to protect their young. The increase in tiger attacks on humans has been blamed on the loss of the tiger’s habitat and on illegal hunting.Also, some tigers that are too old to catch wild animals may learn to attack and eat people.
17Why are tigers endangered? Thousands of years ago in Asia, humans and tigers hunted the same animals for food. People began to hunt tigers because of this. At first tigers were killed with spears or bows and arrows. But the tigers knew their territories so well that they could escape easily. But ……
18When guns were invented, killing tigers became much easier When guns were invented, killing tigers became much easier. Tiger-hunting became a sport for rich people who liked the tigers’ beautiful skins. Up to a hundred tigers could be shot on one hunting trip. As more and more tigers were shot, they became rare.
19Tigers have also become rare because their forest homes have been destroyed. As the forests disappeared, the tigers and other animals that lived in them had less room to live. Often they moved to small areas of untouched forest. But even there, the tigers were not safe.
20Tigers In CrisesBy 1990, some people had realized that tigers were becoming rare in India. But before anything could be done to protect tigers, India became involved in the Second World War. During all the confusion, people carried on hunting tigers and clearing forests freely until 1969 ……
21In 1969, many tiger experts went to New Delhi in India to talk about tiger conservation. At the meeting in India, the tiger experts declared the tiger an endangered species. After this meeting, many of the countries where tigers still lived passed laws to ban tiger-hunting and try the best to save them.
22Today there are eighteen tiger reserves in India, and many other tiger reserves in almost all the countries where tigers still live. Within many of these reserves tigers have become much less shy because people no longer shoot them. Tigers are safe in reserves.
23If tigers were to be saved, then something had to be done quickly If tigers were to be saved, then something had to be done quickly. We must not hunt or shoot tigers even buy any tiger’s skin. We can use less paper and save wooden furniture in order to protect natural forests. We can and we must protect tigers in our daily life or we cannot see them anymore.
24The Future For TigersMore and more people are living in the countries where tigers are found so the natural forests are still being cleared. Soon the only areas left for them may be the reserves. However many of the reserves are too small for a large number of tigers. So that they are in danger of becoming inbred.
25There are also problems if the tiger population of a reserve grows too much. Then the reserve becomes overcrowded and tigers may spill out on to nearby farmland. Here they will eat the farmer’s cattle. Tigers also sometimes attack people. It makes the people nearby worry.
26Tigers are safer today now that many of them live in reserves Tigers are safer today now that many of them live in reserves. But many beautiful wild tigers are still killed by poachers. There are still too many problems on tigers. They need your help. At last, I wish that these beautiful striped cats will survive forever.