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Bengal Tigers Essay

1112 words - 5 pages

Royal Bengal Tiger

The Royal Bengal Tiger, once known as the reigning feline of Asia, are now on the brink of extinction. This beautiful species is quickly disappearing due to human activity. Land development has pushed back forestry, which is making it almost impossible for tigers to survive in their range of natural habitat. Additionally, even though it’s illegal to own, hunt or trap tigers, poachers continue to trap and sell tiger parts on the black market. Furthermore, tigers are being separated by “population fragmentation” which prevents them from mating and producing healthy cubs. Although conservation centers are providing safe havens for tigers, they are not seeing the results ...view middle of the document...

A National Geographic article says, there were over 100,000 Royal Bengal Tigers just over 100 years ago but now there are less than 2,000 in the wild and about 300 in captivity. These numbers show that there has been a high demand for tigers and their body parts for a long time. According to Tigers in Crises, “Using tiger body parts in traditional Chinese medicine is nothing new, but what is new is not being able to meet the huge demand for the body parts.” Not only is there a demand for a Tigers fur, rugs and coats, but their bones and organs are also in demand. A small bowl of tiger gall bladder soup cost $320.00. Not one medical treatment using tiger parts has been proven to cure or even help any illnesses. The high demand for a tigers body parts and the unbelievable prices that human will pay are what encourage greedy poachers to trap and kill these endangered tigers.
“Population fragmentation,” is another dangerous threat the Royal Bengal faces, prevents the tigers to mate and reproduce healthy cubs. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EAI) in London, “As habitat is lost, people move farther into what was the forest. Groups of tigers become separated from one another by villages, farms, fences and roads.” Tigers in one area can no longer mate with tigers in nearby areas. Instead, tigers breed with the same small group of animals. Over time, this inbreeding weakens the gene pool and tigers are born with birth defects. Many inbred cubs don’t live to the age of two. If more land is not given to tigers in the wild they will be extinct by 2022, and those living in conservation centers will soon follow.

Conservation centers are safe havens to protect tigers with hope to save them from extinction, the results are disappointing. Leigh Pitsko, a zoologist, studied many of the conservation centers and discovered that some of the cats had strange habits. The tigers would pace back and forth and twist their head from side to side. She discovered the tigers were doing these strange behaviors because they were stress and bored. The area they lived in was too small for them to run, roam and hunt. Many tigers raised in these centers would eventually get released into the wild but were not surviving. While...

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