Cats that actually like to swim!
Tigers are among the world’s most critically endangered animals. These magnificent big cats are often called mysterious, but they are truly survivors. There are six subspecies of tigers but in the last century, over 97% of wild tigers have disappeared. The Siberian tiger, known as the Amur tiger, is the largest of the subspecies, and is native to southeastern Russian and northern China. While close to extinction, there are fewer than 450 today.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is home to both Siberian and Bengal tigers, including white Bengal tigers that are actually recessive mutants of the Bengal tiger. Tiger Island is home to several Siberian and Bengal tigers that rotate from their night quarters to the large outdoor yard. Since tigers are primarily solitary, you’ll usually see just one tiger out at one time; or in the case of some of the siblings, see two in the yard together.
Tigers are among the few cats that actually like water and on hot summer days, the pool offers a cool respite from the warm weather.
Conservation Status: Endangered. Habitat loss and poaching have decimated the tiger population for all subspecies with numbers continuing to decline.
How You Can Help: There are many organizations that conduct important conservation of Siberian tigers, as well as the five other subspecies of tigers (Bengal, Sumatran, Indochinese, Malayan and South China) whose numbers are much smaller. The World Wildlife Fund (wwf.panda.org) conducts conservation moving towards zero poaching of tigers in Nepal to stop tiger killing and trading at its source. The Save the Tiger Fund (panthera.org) provides grants spent on various important tiger conservation programs around the world.
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By Giraffe Encounter and Lion's Lair