Tigers may soon be a thing of the past if things don't change. The large felines have been on the endangered species list for years and get closer to extinction each day. Despite efforts and laws made in their protection, they are hunted down and killed for everything from their pelts to their teeth.
A recent report by TRAFFIC claims that over 1,000 of the majestic beasts have been killed and sold on the black market in the last decade alone. That number is only the remains that were found and seized by officials. We can only guess how many tigers have actually been poached. They are sold alive or for their meat, teeth, claws, skulls and even their penises for various reasons ranging from decoration to medicinal purposes. I can't imagine buying a tiger pelt knowing full well that it is a major crime, not to mention their near extinction.
The number of tigers in the world today is estimated to be around 3,200. That is but a fraction of the estimated 100,000 from around a century ago. A summit is planned to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia to decide how to go about protecting and ensuring the survival of wild tigers. If nothing is done soon we will lose one of our most iconic animals to extinction. A world without tigers would be a sad world indeed. Let us hope that the St. Petersburg tiger summit is successful in their goal of doubling the wild tiger population in the next 12 years.