July 29 is International Tiger Day. It’s a very new holiday, created in 2010 to support tiger conservation. All six tiger subspecies are considered endangered, primarily due to loss of habitat, although poaching has sometimes been a problem as well (the 6 remaining subspecies, that is. There were others, but they are extinct now) . You can find out lots more information here.
Personally, tigers are one of my favorite animals (top 10, at least), and it seems I’m not alone. Many zoo-goers tend to gravitate towards the “big cats” section, and the tiger is one of the most popular there. Of course, I did grow up with Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” where the tiger Shere Kahn is the terrifying villain of the jungle. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think that tigers are some of the most beautiful animals out there.
“Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and women,
old men and children.”