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Some facts on tigers-

The tiger is the largest member of the cat family.

In just the last 50 years, 3 subspecies of tiger - the Bali Tiger, Javan Tiger and Caspian Tiger - have become extinct.

Only 6 subspecies survive: the Amur (Siberian), South China, Indo-Chinese, Bengal, Sumatran, and Malayan tigers.

All remaining sub-species of tigers are endangered.

Tigers occur in 18 States within the Republic of India, with 10 States reportedly having populations in excess of 100 tigers.

India's tiger population has fallen drastically during the past five years to 1,411, down from 3,642 in the last major survey in 2002.

The only exception was the southern state of Tamil Nadu where the animals' numbers had gone up to 76 from 60 five years ago.

Tigers are poached for their body parts - skins are prized for fashion and tiger bones are used for oriental medicines.

At the current rate of poaching and habitat loss, it is estimated that tigers in the wild could completely disappear within the next ten years.

According to reports, there were 40,000 tigers in India a century ago.

The country is home to 40% of the world's tigers, with 23 tiger reserves in 17 states.

The earliest known portrayal of the Royal Bengal Tiger in India comes to us from the Indus Valley Civilization where a 2500 BC seal featuring a tiger was found.

At full running speed tigers reach up to 60 kilometers per hour


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