Vanishing Tigers

On July 8th, 60-Minutes updated their broadcast of “Shooting Tigers: Scott Pelley Travels to India to see the Last of the Wild Tigers.”  To read the transcript, click here: 60 Minutes.

The story reminded me of  The Vanishing Tiger by Vivek Sinha.  This book explores the natural history of tigers as well as thier perilous status in the wild.  Through photographs and text, you will enter the vanishing world of the Tiger.

In about a hundred years, the wild tiger population has gone from more than 100,000 to a total maximum world population of about 5000.  The largest wild population of around 3000 is the Bengal Tiger of India (there are estimated to be 30 tigers left in China, 80 to 200 in Bhutan, 150-250 in Nepal, and 300-460 in Bangladesh).  There are questions to whether the wild Tiger will continue to survive.  Three subspecies (Java, Caspian, and Bali) are already extinct.

The Brothers Balram and Dau

One particularly poignant moment in the book was the photograph of “The Brothers Balram and Dau”.  Tigers are solitary creatures and so it is highly unusual for tigers to continue to bond after their second year of life.  However, the two brothers were very close to each other until their untimely deaths in the early 1990s from poachers (who are selling almost exclusively to Chinese buyers).

For me, the world would be a lesser place without wild tigers.

For more information on tigers in India, visit the Wildlife Protection Society of India: http://www.wpsi-india.org/tiger/tiger_facts.php

OWL Recommended Reading:

The Vanishing Tiger- Vivek Sinha 599.756 SIN

The Way of the Tiger- Ullas Karanth 599.756 KAR

Tigers in the Snow-Peter Matthiessen 599.756 MAT

Tiger!- Simon Barnes 599.756 BAR

–Ann Marie

Ann Marie is the Library Director of the OWL

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