About 100,000 wild tigers roamed across Asia in 1900. Today, tigers are an endangered species, with a wild population that is likely under 3,500. The biggest threats to their survival are poaching, habitat loss, prey depletion, human-tiger conflict, and disease.
The Tiger Conservation Campaign, coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP), works to raise awareness about wild tigers and raise money to help them survive. July 29, 2014 is International Tiger Day, and you can get involved by shopping smart, donating or fundraising, and helping spread the word about tigers’ plight.
The recent birth of an Amur tiger at the Indianapolis Zoo serves as both a ray of hope and a reminder of the importance of ongoing conservation efforts. While the wild population of the Amur tiger still totals fewer than 500, the sub-species had dwindled to an estimated 20-30 individuals by the 1930s and 1940s.
The cub, shown below with first-time mother Andrea, was born on July 10, 2014. The new arrival brings the number of Amur tigers at the Indianapolis Zoo to four. The sex is not yet known. Nor does the cub have a name yet, but here’s another fun opportunity for you to get involved: the Indianapolis Zoo plans to run a public poll on their Facebook page to pick a name.
Check out this video from the Tiger Conservation Campaign to learn more: