Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Panthera tigris: Oh spare me..Stop being quidnunc Homo sapiens!!

Tiger Woods has been so much in news off late that we actually forgot the real Panthera tigris—the tiger..The tiger, largest of all the cats, is one of the most charismatic and potent flagship species on the Earth; it is also one of the most threatened..Tigers are distinguished by the color of their coat..
The tiger is classified as a member of the order Carnivore (flesh-eating animal) and is a member of the Felidae..The five subspecies of tigers are scattered around 14 Asian countries and they are: Amur (Siberian), Bengal, Indo Chinese, Sumatran, South China..The extinct ones are: Bali tigers (which no one has seen since 1937 and no picture of it exists), Caspian tigers (extinct since 1970) and Java tigers (extinct since 1980).. But there is also a white tiger, which is a color variation of Bengal tigers..Endangered Species are species that are in danger of extinction..Over 5,200 animal species around the globe are threatened with extinction..
Tigers live in Asia and belong to the same genus as the lion, leopard, and jaguar..The tiger is thought to have originated in northern Asia during the Pleistocene Epoch..

The Tiger is often described as a particularly dangerous, sly, and
invincible predator..They have powerful bodies, large paws, and very sharp claws..The head of the Tiger is rounded and has a convex profile..The ears are black with white in the middle..The Tiger's eyes are a yellowish-orange color, but at night they almost look
green..Coloration of the Tiger is reddish yellow or rust-brown on the upper side, and a whitish under side..There is prominent beard like growth of hair on the cheeks, and they may have a short neck mane..Their body is covered with heavy black stripes..The tiger's ears are its main advantage when hunting..Tigers have white spots behind their ears to help identify one another in the jungle..Hearing is the tiger's sharpest sense..The tiger's night vision is six times greater than ours..They have a mirror like layer at the back of the eye that reflects extra light..Tigers also have very good colorful eyesight..Tigers have long, canine teeth that they use to stab and kill their prey..The molars behind them are like scissors..They slice strips of flesh like we slice off butter from a cube..
This is the majestic glory of the feline beauty..But do u think that I’m writing this for just boasting about the tiger??No...There is a darker and much horror filled side to this discussion..This winter I went to a tiger reserve in the northern side of Bengal..Buxa Tiger Reserve..I reached there with full hope of at least sighting the imperial animal for once..But to my utter shock I was not able to sight the powerful animal even for a single time..I saw all possible animals in the forests ranging from wild elephants, wild bison’s, beautiful peacocks, numerous forms of deer’s, wild rhino’s, etc etc etc. But to my utter daze not a single tiger..Isn’t it shocking??In a tiger reserve no tigers..even the guide who was with me told me that he was in this profession for the past 10 years and till date he had been gifted with the sight of the feline cat only once..Even the locals said that they rarely get a view of the tiger..
Like a 911 call in the U.S for emergencies, India's national animal too needs immediate attention..If pug mark estimates by the National Tiger Conservation Authority are anything to go by, just 1411 Tigers are left in India..The striped feline enjoyed roaring success up until the alarming poaching activities brought down the number from around 40,000 in the 20th century to hardly a thousand now..Even the number 1411 should be digested with a pinch of salt, since the pug mark census can rarely be termed as accurate..
Aircel has owned up to campaigning for the soon becoming rare Tiger in India..Our national animal needs support and lots of care and attention..Most importantly, it needs to be left alone, with as much camouflage in India's forests..
It’s an irony that India has promoted Tiger as its National Animal since independence, but has failed to save them from dwindling down so badly..There is undoubtedly vast collusion between corrupt officials who sell Tiger skin and bones and make lakhs of rupees..The national animal is nearing extinction owing to greedy poachers.
The only silver lining for the majestic striped feline is that another Indian Wildlife Sanctuary was a few weeks back declared as a Tiger Reserve..Union minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh inaugurated the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve at Anappadi in Kerala's Palakkad district..This makes it the 38th Tiger Reserve of India..India needs to be conscious of its national identities and not lose them to corrupt officials who collude for their own selfish motives..The Tiger certainly deserves a better deal, and needs to be left alone to try and come back from the brink of extinction in India..1411 could well be the code much like 911 to inspire and encourage the nation to save the striped cat..
We humans have already debarred our future generations from viewing the cheetah..Our children will only see cheetah in the books but I heartily hope that they are able to see this royal majesty, the tiger, in its eternal beauty, in its natural habitat..

Jaishree Ram,


  1. good one,keep it up.But try making it shorter.Like in this one why you wasted space in describing his coloration.everyone know how a tiger looks.Other than that,it was very good.Very social.Good

  2. Good.But i think you should mention about the organisations that are upto the task of saving the tiger so that they get credited for the task.