Another big cat is under great threat. This big cat was once found in the wide range of South East Asia which is now scattered to the limited areas of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The vigorous and majestic Corbett tiger was once the symbol of monstrosity and horror, but now is itself seeking its survival. It is feared that this big cat has become extinct in China because in 2009 the last known wild Indochinese tiger was killed and eaten by the native villagers. Corbett tiger is usually known as the Indochinese tiger which has now the estimated population of less than 1,000 individuals in the world

The Indochinese Tiger or Corbett Tiger ( Image: patmanzzz-against SOPA/PIPA )

The Indochinese Tiger or Corbett Tiger ( Image: patmanzzz-against SOPA/PIPA )

The Indochinese tiger is biologically known as Panthera tigris corbetti and lives in secluded forests in hilly to mountainous terrain, the majority of which lies along the borders between countries. Human poaching, habitat destruction, deforestation and hunting for oriental medication have made their current status critically endangered. The locals kill the Indochinese tiger for its exotic orange colored striped fur and its bones that are used in making the traditional Chinese medicines.

The rare Indochinese tigress in the jungle. Image © Arjun Juneja

The rare Indochinese tigress in the jungle. Image © Arjun Juneja

The majestic Indochinese tiger is smaller in sizes as compare to the Bengal tiger with a darker skin color. Males weigh from 150–190 kg (330–420 lb) while females are smaller at 110–140 kg (240–310 lb). The Indochinese tiger usually love to hunt larger mammals like wild boars, deer and cattle. Because of the dangerous shrinking of the forests, the scarcity of food is another alarming threat to the lives of the Indochinese tiger. The gestation period in the female Indochinese tiger is of 3 to 4 months and the female may give birth up to 4-5 cubs in the ideal circumstances. The newborn babies are fed by the mother for about two months and then they start eating meat. The cubs depend on their mother for the first 18 months and then they start hunting on their own.

An Indochinese cub in a zoo ( Image : Josh More )

An Indochinese cub in a zoo ( Image : Josh More )

The international organizations like WWF and IUCN are trying to find new areas having low human interference as the Indochinese tiger’s habitats for their protection and conservation. The survey reporting and research work about this rare big cat is a tough ask because of access to the areas where Indochinese tigers live is often restricted. According to the WWF officials, the best hope of the survival of this subspecies is in the Dawna Tennaserim landscape on the Thailand-Myanmar border where perhaps 250 tigers remain. WWF considers the forests of the Lower Mekong a restoration landscape with the possibility of reintroducing tigers as the habitat and prey base are there. Southern Laos and Central Vietnam also have potential for recovery of wild tiger populations.

The majestic Indochinese tiger is being eliminated by the poachers on the highest rate than any other tiger sub-specie of the lovely planet.  The need of the day is to stop their hunting and the illegal trade of the Indochinese tiger. All governments of their respective habitats must improve the living conditions of the Indochinese tiger and the local community should also co-operate with the authorities to safeguard this extraordinary carnivore specie.

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