Tigers have always been one of my favorite wild animals. There has been an ongoing sort of debate that took place on whether or not tigers roar like lions. On the movie “We Bought a Zoo, for example, the zoo keeper tells Rosie that tigers don’t roar, they chuff. Because of this questionable debate I finally looked into it. Turns out both sides of the debate are right as well as wrong. And since today is World Tiger Day, it’s just in time!
Vocalizations of the tiger are variable depending on what and how far they are communicating. As a mater of fact, tigers roar, chuff, and moan. Yep, that’s right, they make three types of sounds, not one. Now that that is settled… Let’s move on to more about tigers.
These felines are strong swimmers and often swim in lakes and rivers. Tigers can even carry their prey through the water.
Brink of Extinction
There are currently six species of tiger and all of them are endangered. Many more are already extinct.
- Bengal Tiger
- Siberian Tiger
- Indochinese Tiger
- Malayan Tiger
- Sumatran Tiger
- South China Tiger
Threats of Extinction
Habitat lost is their greatest threat and demise. Tiger habitats are affected by global warming and destroyed daily by deforestation for paper & palm oil. Poaching (illegal hunting) is another threat to the tigers. Do to dwindling habitats and tiger population numbers, tigers have been known to travel up to 1000 kilometers just to find mates. Even traveling so far, inbreeding is affecting their DNA. This means cubs are born with physical defects such as scoliosis, crossed eyes, and cleft palates.
“We have lost 97% of all wild tigers in a bit over 100 years. Instead of 100,000, as few as 3000 live in the wild today, last year it was 3200! A number of Tiger species have already been extinct. Tigers may be one of the most admired animals, but they are also vulnerable to extinction. At this rate, all tigers living in the wild could be extinct in 5 years!”
– The International Tiger Day Organization
Ways You Can Help
- Adopt a Tiger at WWF (don’t worry, it’s a virtual adoption)
- Donate through the Save Tigers Now organization
- Spread the Word – sharing awareness for these creatures is always a big help. Use #TigerDay on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
A couple years ago there was a cool competition where artists were encouraged to make tiger art with recycled materials called Tigers Are Not Rubbish. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like they are holding that competition this year. Still, tiger art is a fun activity for you and your little explorer to make today.
If you make any tiger art, share it in the comments below.
We would love to see them.