Gooooooooo Tigers!

Kaeli Cunningham, Editor

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It can be easy to forget when a species is endangered when we are constantly surrounded by images of their likeness. This is true for any school, including our own, that holds the tiger as their beloved mascot.


We are the tigers; we see this on shirts, murals, signs, and other displays around our school and the community. What about actual tigers though? If each student in our school represented a tiger that still lives in the wild, we would be making up more than an eighth of that tiger population. Now, ⅛ may not seem like a lot unless you really think about the scale. Our tiny school multiplied by eight is the entire wild tiger population on the Earth. That is significant.


Beyond reminders of the animal in our community, we are also exposed to real life tigers at zoos that we have visited throughout our childhood. Everyone can remember seeing a tiger or two while at the zoo. If so many zoos have tigers, does that mean that there are plenty of them still alive? Not necessarily. Less than 4,000 tigers are thought to still live in the wild, but more than 5,000 are kept in captivity throughout the United States. Yes, that does raise the number of tigers left alive, but those tigers are not living a natural life so they are not factored into the number given for wild tigers. Regardless, it is strange that the tiger population living in captivity outnumbers the tigers still living in their natural habitat.


Many breeds of tigers are already extinct. Everyone is familiar with saber toothed tigers, which have been extinct for thousands upon thousands of years. Who remembers the Javan tiger though? This breed went extinct very recently in comparison, during the 1970s.


Nobody wants an extinct mascot, but tigers can’t save themselves. Below are some sources that can give us information on how to help the depleting tiger population before it’s too late.

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