Tuesday, 20 January 2015
NEWSLINK: What is the price of a tiger’s life?
By Graham Land Jan 07, 2015 4:00PM UTC
The largest of the big cats, the tiger is a critically endangered species — its numbers having dropped from circa 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century to less than 4,000 wild individuals today. Tigers once lived across Asia, but have been wiped out from nearly all of their original habitats, remaining only in small pockets of South and Southeast Asia, Siberia and China. Their range spans 13 countries in total. Habitat destruction, competition with humans, trophy hunting and traditional medicine have all contributed to the tiger’s steep decline.
In India, where at least half of the world’s wild tigers live and enjoy greater protection than anywhere else, economic development an ever-growing human population is still a large threat to the big cat’s survival. A tiger was recently killed in a wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka after it killed two women. The tiger killed the first woman in a village 300km from the sanctuary, after which authorities captured and relocated it. Yet nervous locals spotted the tiger several times and one biologist expressed concern that it had lost its fear of humans. On December 24 the tiger killed again, this time a pregnant woman who was gathering water from a stream. After a massive four-day hunt involving hundreds of officials and tribal trackers, the tiger was shot dead.