The tiger lives in the forests and canebrakes of Asia. Its body markings provide excellent camouflage in long grass. Tigers are the largest existing members of the cat family. On average they are larger than lions, ranging in weight up to 267 kg (587 lb.).
This large carnivore usually hunts at night, spending the greater part of the daylight hours resting in shaded areas to escape the heat. It eats a variety of other creatures, from frogs and turtles, to cattle, monkeys, deer and buffalo, and even the occasional young elephant.
All of the tiger subspecies are in danger of extinction. Subspecies such as the Sumatran, Siberian and Chinese tigers are critically endangered. The Javan tiger became extinct in the 1970s and the Bali tiger in the 1940s. Regrettably, the continuing demand for health products containing tiger bones or body parts continues unabated, and has created a thriving black market. Habitat destruction could be the final nail in the coffin of this magnificent species.
Fifty-eight nations, including Canada, approved a protective measure for all wild cats. These measures include controlling the import, export, and use of such skins. Also, public opinion and the development of synthetic fur have slightly diminished the market for tiger skins.