T is for Tiger
There is definitely something special about the tiger – despite the obvious power and weight visible beneath its stunning coat it has wonderful lightness and grace of movement. It is the largest of all cats, and arguably the most beautiful. It is also one of the most endangered.
Again, human encroachment into and destruction of their forests is a major factor. Once habitat is gone, the small prey animals that lived in it are also depleted, the tiger looks elsewhere for food, comes into areas near villages and into conflict with humans, is shot – and further endangered.
The South China tiger is thought to be extinct as it has not been seen in the wild for more than 25 years. That means that it only survives in captivity.
My wonderful poet friend, Michaela Morgan, has written a poem about a captive tiger that I cannot hope to improve upon, so I am linking to a video of her reading it. It draws from the fabulous poem by William Blake, The Tyger, a verse of which follows.
Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
could frame they fearful symmetry?
Link to Michaela’s poem here: Tyger, Tyger.
Michaela’s poetry site address: Michaela Morgan.
If you’d like to read more about or even help the tiger, click here: World Wildlife Fund.
Information about the tiger and other cats here at the BBC website: BBC.
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Post and illustration © Liz Brownlee, this is copyright material, please do not repost elsewhere, you can link to it.