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Ten Royal Bengal tigers died at a zoo in Orissa, in July 2000.  Experts suggest that the tigers died of a parasitic infection.  Currently, India's tiger population is estimated at approximately 3,500

 

 Tigers at the Watering Hole
30 x 22", acrylic on silk

"At the beginning of the century there was an estimated population of 100,000 tigers spread across Asia. From Turkey in the west across to Bali in the southeast, and north to Siberia, the tiger ruled the forests. Today, only 100 years later, mankind has decimated this population down to less than 7,000. These remaining tigers are spread out across Asia in tiny islands of forests at the mercy of people and poachers.

Out of the eight tiger subspecies, three are already extinct: the Caspian, the Javan, and the Bali tiger. The South China tiger is virtually gone with only few dozen animals left. Two more are balancing on the edge, the Siberian and the Sumatran, each subspecies having approximately 500 animals left. The Indo Chinese is not far behind with its numbers between 1000 and 1700.

The Cat Specialist Group reported 2,750 to 3,750 Bengal tigers in India in 1994. These tigers are distributed among 66 protected areas, of which more than 20 fall under the umbrella of Project Tiger, a program based on total protection of tigers and conservation of selected habitats as reserves managed primarily for tigers. Another 150-250 tigers live in three protected areas in Nepal, 50-240 tigers are in four protected areas in Bhutan, about 300-460 tigers live in three protected areas in Bangladesh, and an unknown number of tigers remain in Myanmar. Although the wild Bengal tiger populations are considered more secure in India than other tiger subspecies found elsewhere in Asia, there exists the potential for rapid demise of the wild population through recently increased levels of poaching and poisoning.

As an artist I hope to make people conscious of the need to protect the tiger and the elephant before they disappear altogether from Asia like many other animals."

 

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Last Updated: August 22, 2000

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