Sumatran Tigers on the WWF's "Most Threatened Species List!"

The World Wildlife Fund published their annual list of some of the most threatened species around the world. A list that keeps getting longer but is not a list an animal would want to be on. Sumatran tigers made the list of the 9 to Watch in 2009.

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savetigerpic1.jpgA little while ago, Wendell posted an article about the 12 cats that will be extinct by 2020. Sumatran Tigers were on his list too. The population is estimated at 400 but the exact count is not known - hopefully it could be as many as 500, but even so, that's not enough.

Poaching is the biggest problem for these tigers. Poachers have already killed off the entire populations of Javan and Balinese Tigers in the same region and it looks like the Sumatran Tiger is next.

The tigers are killed for body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine and their skins are often sold to western buyers.


When people stop buying body parts and skins is the day that we can truly stop cruelty to animals. I mean, I understand that Eastern medicine is deeply rooted in tradition and spiritual healing but an animal shot and killed in cold blood is not in keeping with tradition.

Chinese medicine dates back 5000 years. But the use of tigers and other animals only dates back 300 years. Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioners have successfully used herbs and other treatments for millennia so the practice of using a tiger's penis for virility or bones for soup to cure a fever is completely unnecessary, according to Dr. Henry Lee a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

Another reason the Sumatran Tiger population is decreasing is shrinking habitat as the human population grows. In 2004, the Indonesian Government doubled the size of Tesso Nilo National Park to help save animals and forest, but this effort hasn't stopped poachers from entering the park and loggers from destroying the tiger's habitat.

savetigerpic3.jpgThe only way we can stop the hunting of these beautiful cats is to stop the market for their body parts. If people could find alternate ways to cure their illnesses through healthful living and herbal treatments instead of boiling up the bones of an endangered animal, the world would be in a much better place.

The thing I find interesting is the the Chinese and other religions believe in animal spirits. So if that's the case, why are they killing off these innocent creatures? It goes against their believe system which makes me think that eastern medicine is no better than our western "cutem up" and "drugem up" system. The only difference is, the animals we in the west kill are in labs and the animals those in the east kill are in the wild.

I'll get off my soap box now. But it really burns me up that all this killing happens so needlessly. True Traditional Chinese Medicine does not include killing animals, they're doing it wrong - and tigers have to pay the price. Help out if you can, by adopting a tiger, or make a donation to the WWF and get a gift.

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Other posts I think you might be into:

Auckland Zoo's 3 Sumatran Tiger Cubs

3 Sumatran Cubs at 12 Days old

Who Says Sumatran Tigers and Orangutans can't get along?


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