Is it really no surprise to learn that children and even some adults, are lovers of plush tigers? After all, we never seem to be able to get enough of these fascinating wild cats, given how mysterious they are in comparison, to say, lions. While much research has been done on lions, the same can’t be said about tigers. And, it’s certainly not for lack of trying, however, just finding them, is a huge task in itself. Having a plush tiger somehow keeps these beautiful cats in our hearts and minds at a time when their very existence on the planet is precarious at best.
In the cat family, tigers are the largest. At one time, there were eight sub-species of tiger, but three of those became extinct in the 20th century. In the last 100 years, between hunting and tearing down of forests, tiger populations have gone from hundreds of thousands to as little as 2,500. Tigers are hunted for a variety of reasons including use of their body parts in traditional Chinese medicine. The five remaining species of tiger are sadly, all endangered, and it’s for that reason that many (but still not enough) protection programs are in place.
The most widely recognized species of tiger, is the Bengal. The same holds true of a plush tiger- Bengal plush tigers are quite popular and the ones which are most familiar looking to children. Bengal tigers live in India and number about half of all tigers still living in the wild. Unlike lions who live in family’s called prides, tigers live a solitary life. They are so protective of their territories, that they aggressively ensure they constantly leave their scent-mark so as to keep away any rivals. For both hunting purposes and to keep from being hunted, Bengal tigers use their stripes as camouflage – no two tigers have the same stripes. Bengal tigers lie in wait and quickly spring and pounce on their prey. They are nocturnal hunters that will travel many miles to find food – they can eat up to 60 pounds in a night and prefer to dine on large mammals like wild pigs, buffalo, and deer.
Despite the agressive nature of tigers, that has not deterred us from having plush tigers in our homes and even on our bedroom shelves keeping watch over us as we sleep. Through the medium of television, we know a little about these incredible creatures including how ferocious they really are, yet plush tigers don’t seem to evoke those feelings of fear we may (or may not) have about these glorious cats; plush tigers lie around, get lazy and look cute and harmless, making us forget just how dangerous the real thing really is.
By Angeline Hope
Article Source: goarticles.com