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6B Feature Article

9/11/2015

​6B have been busy writing features articles this term.  These articles are about the problems facing endangered animals.

 

Too Late For Tigers?
By Katie Cook
Over the last year over 1000 tigers have been killed, with roughly 1 million being killed over the last century from problems such as; trophy hunting, poaching, commercial farming for both tourists and poachers/hunters and, the Chinese medicine demand.
Each day it is believed that a tiger is being killed, meaning in as few as 5 years the tiger’s extinction will become inevitable with tigers disappearing from the wild fully in just 10 years! 
Trophy hunts are very much legal, meaning that trophy hunting makes one of the biggest impacts on tiger numbers. Trophy hunting takes place when a hunter pays a guide(s) that knows the area in which he/she wishes to hunt in. Then they set about hunting the poor big-cat. They steer clear of national parks but if they find a tiger on or near the border they will lure it out where they can legally shoot it. Guns, bows and crossbows are used to painfully but quickly end the innocent animals life from where they then brutally decapitate the head off its mighty shoulders, or they might take the skin to make it into a rug, tiger fur jumper or throw. Trophy hunting isn’t as grotesque as poaching but it still ends with a lifeless carcass, photo and a wall ornament.
Poaching may as well be the BIGGEST reason for the decline in numbers. Poaching is illegal and has been for years but only after hunting tigers became illegal did the decline start. Poaching uses many painful methods to kill these cats. The torture can range from steel bear traps that crunch down on the tiger’s paw, breaking bones and tiring out the animal as it struggles before the poacher finishes it off with a blow to the head from a heavy stick. Poachers can use poison carcasses and shallow pools of cyanide and water to kill them, firearms are used to hunt with little hindrance. The reason poachers kill tigers is for their fur, whiskers, bones and other body parts so they can be sold on the black market with the parts used in herbal medicines shipped off to Asia. Items in the black market such as an $80,000 tiger skin with tiger rugs selling for $124,000 and a full stuffed tiger sold for $800,000. TRAFFIC states, “Action should be taken against the illegal trade of poached body parts.”
Poaching can never be justified. It is a waste of life and is meant to be a slow, painful and agonizing death with the sadistic and heartless poachers watching as the limbs go limp and the life drains out its eyes. It just makes you wonder, is the price tag high enough to kill every one of these beautiful animals?
Tiger farming has 2 forms. Farming for tourists and farming for poachers. You often see in zoos tigers are lined up for photos with tourists and most of the time its harmless and the animals are loved and correctly treated but a lot of the companies run in poorer countries such as Indonesia and other parts of Asia, tigers are nothing but income. The cubs are just days old, some haven’t yet even opened their shining eyes full of curiosity and hope when they’re torn away from the stricken mother. They scream and cry to feel her warmth as she jumps and roars to have her most prized possessions back. They’re given to carers who don’t know how to give them proper care and the cubs often suffer from the carer’s lack of knowledge.
The tigers are then given back as hand reared tigers. Most have improper muscle mass from the incorrect treatment. When the training begins they are malnourished and festered. They live on the end of a leash as the spirit is beaten out of them to prevent defiance. They’re often struck with leather stock whips, sticks and bamboo poles. They are left without medical treatment for the score of lacerations, cuts, bruises and burns from their ‘training.’ After they are out of the ‘training’ period, they are put in front of cameras. Any that defy commands are beaten and left without food after the session. If injury is visible they are locked away from the public eye. Some cubs are used and despite there young age they can be starved and hit on the nose with a bamboo stick each morning. By the time training is finished the mother would have had at least 2 more litters forced off her. Many mother tigers can never be shown to the public with the tigress in a depressive mood as she lumbers along in a zombie-like trance, eyes dull and clouded from the years of mental torture. Many of the tourist tigers die from infections from the lashings, starvation or mental illness. 
Tigers bred in farms for poachers are most of the time taken from the wild and reared the same way as tourist tigers. They are often run the same way except training may be less brutal for the benefit of the profit for when they’re an adult. They are an adult when they are given a price according to the animals attractiveness then they wait to be bought by a poacher. When the poacher arrives the tiger is bought into a small cage where they meet a painful end. Most die a violent death if the poacher has no gun or chooses not to use it. The innocent, tortured big cat can die from electrocution, gassing, neck breaking, drowning or clubbing. How would you like to live to die? Or just to be made to suffer and made purely to die an unjustified, slow painful death? You wouldn’t would you? 
The demand for ancient superstitious Chinese ‘medicine’ is quite strong, considering the amount of people in the Asian region, that’s a lot of tigers being killed for a fake remedy for whatever illness they use it for! Items such as tiger bone is used in Asia for rheumatoid, with the skin of a Sumatran tiger believed to possess ‘magic powers’ to ‘protect the owner’ of this product from ‘black magic’ and ‘bad omens’ and ‘demons!’ Chinese medicine is a fraudulent product. They even thought at one stage a tiger could cure cancer! That’s a bit far-fetched. Tigers, elephants and rhinos alike are dying off in the hundreds each year for a fake medicine and even though it has been proven that these ‘remedies’ don’t work, they continue to kill. To kill a tiger for a skin isn’t going to save you from demons because if you kill an innocent tiger the only demon you need to worry about is the one in the place of your soul.
In 1999 only 400-500 Sumatran tigers were left in the wild with subspecies dying out all over the globe. WWF fears the worst, Sumatran tigers have since recovered in numbers but they fear that the species are already doomed to the same fate that was forced upon the now long extinct Bali and Javen tigers that were declared very well gone in the 1930’s and 1980’s, and as you are reading, the Sumatran tiger has been red listed as a CRITICALLY ENDANGERED animal.
Tigers are a gorgeous, free and high-spirited animal… but they are dying out at a severe rate. Poachers, the black market and trophy hunting are the largest concerns facing tigers today and forcing the tiger’s eternal extinction. We as a whole human race need to tackle this issue from all sides. The government, law enforcement, military and technology all need to contribute to this issue so we can put a stop to poaching and save the tigers because they’re not just a majestic beast, they are a critical part of the ecosystem and if we kill them all, we have killed the ecosystem. So let’s save these tigers, so not just we can enjoy them but generations to come can enjoy them as well!