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Decoding the rarest tigers in the world

Jul 29, 2020 07:52 IST

Much has been written and spoken about tigers, slated to be one of the largest surviving cat species, and its dwindling population. Just about 3,900 remain in the wild today, according to statistics by the World Wildlife Fund, and deforestation, tiger hunting for trophies and for body parts are to be blamed. Let's take you on a journey of the rarest tigers in the world and where they're found. 

1. Siberian Tigers are native to Russia, though some are also found in North Korea and China. Fewer than 600 remain in the world today due to over hunting.

2. Sumatran tigers are considered to be the smallest surviving members of the tiger subspecies. Poaching and the ever-growing market for tiger parts has forced them to the brink of extinction, leaving less than 400 in the wild. They call the Sundra Islands of Indonesia their home.

3. The critically-endangered Malayan Tiger is native to peninsular Malaysia and is also found in the southern tip of Thailand. There are only about 250 to 340 Malayan tigers, previously classified as the Indochinese tiger.

4. Native to the Indian subcontinent, the iconic Bengal Tiger is the epitome of strength and power. There are less than 3,300 Bengal tigers in the wild. Interestingly, the Bengal Tiger stripes are unique to each individual and act like human fingerprints do. They also have the largest canine teeth of any living cat. 

5. A Tabby tiger or the golden tiger was recently photographed in India. Its pale-golden colour and red-brown stripes come from a rare, recessive gene. The unique coloration is believed to be caused by inbreeding due to habitat loss.

India’s Tiger Census just entered the Guinness World Records for being the world’s largest wildlife survey, but there is growing concern regarding key tiger corridors facing threats from natural disasters and habitat destruction.