Sumatran Tiger And Threat Of Extinction
Maybe we all need to pause and take the time to appreciate and admire Sumatran tigers when we have chance to encounter them. This noble creatures with elegant way of walking are almost endangered due to human malignancy. In 2008, only around 400-500 were estimated, and the IUCN Red List has declared Sumatran tiger as critically endangered since 1996.
Many zoologists believe that tigers have roots from ancient times, which are associated with predatory animals called Miacids. These animals lived around 70 to 65 million years ago, namely in the Cretaceous era. These ancient animals existed in the West Asia region at that time.
From West Asia they continued to migrate to China and Siberia, and then from here their hordes were divided in two, one group headed for Central Asia which later became known as the Caspian tiger, the others moved on to Southeast Asia including Indonesia, some ended up in India.
Compared to other tiger subspecies, Sumatran tigers have the smallest size. In addition, their characteristic that is quite striking is the black stripe pattern on the body tends to be wider and the gap is narrow, sometimes even seen intersecting with each other.
For male tigers, the average weight is 140 kg, with an average length of 250 cm measured from the feet to the head. For fully grown males they have about 60 cm tall. Males also have more mane and beard, compared to other tiger subspecies. For females the size and weight are smaller, with a length of about 198 cm while the average body weight is only 91 kg.
Habitat And Population
This big cat is actually quite adaptive and can live both in the lowlands and highlands. Unfortunately because the forest area is decreasing for agriculture and human settlements, many Sumatran tigers accidentally enter agricultural areas and human settlements which then bring death to them because their presence has triggered the anger of people. In addition, those in the forest are also threatened because of illegal hunting. Their exotic color and pattern of fur is what people are after for. Their fur and head is usually sold as decorations.
At present there are only around 400 Sumatran tigers in the national park, the rest are scattered between forest lands that are converted into agricultural land and settlements, they hide and fight for food while avoiding poachers. There are also around 250 tigers that are nurtured in various zoos throughout the world.
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