29 July : International Tiger Day

July 29 was designated as the International Tiger Day at the Global Tiger Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 2010.

This is an annual event when NGOs and forest authorities host celebrities and school children - and media invites experts - to create awareness about tiger conservation.

Key Points

There are over 41 species of cats found all over the world. Tigers are the biggest in the family. They can reach upto a length of 3.5 meters and can weigh around 600 kilograms.

Survival is tough during infancy and it is reported that more than half the tiger cubs don’t live beyond their second year.

There are six subspecies of tigers found in present day - the Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger, Sumatran tiger, Malayan tiger, Indochinese tiger and the South China tiger.

A group of tigers is called an ‘Ambush’. ‘Streak’ is another commonly used term.

Tigers are known to be excellent swimmers but only selectively venture out into the water. They do not cover long distances though.

India has Tiger reserves like Jim Corbett national park that protect the species. It is also the country’s national animal. Apart from India, it is the national animal of Bangladesh, North Korea, South Korea and Malaysia too.

Lions and Tigers fight for supremacy in the jungle but they can sometimes get together and have cubs too. The hybrid species are called Tigons and Ligers.

Tigers are relatively quick and reach upto 65 Kilometers per hour. Lions clock 81 while Cheetah can touch a speed of 110. Tigers do make it up with their massive leap and stretch nearly 5 meters.

The Danger

A hundred years ago 100,000 tigers roamed in Asia, but now only 3,000 survive in the wild.

The Javan tiger is now officially classified as extinct, having died off in the mid-1970s.

The number of Tigers in India is 2226.

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