The Tiger and the Panda: Two Species Threatened with Extinction?
May 28, 20214 min read
We know today that many Asian animals are in critical danger of extinction. But if we had to choose the two most endangered species, only the Panda and the Tiger would remain. Over time and events, the two animals have seen their populations decline dangerously.
That's why, today, Tiger-Universe has decided to tackle this subject to make you aware of the risks these two species face.
The South China Tigers and the Giant Pandas are two species threatened with extinction.
Two animals with an opposite way of life
The first thing you notice when you see the two animals from China is that they look very different from each other. The panda is a big, clumsy bear with trouble moving, while the tiger is a brave hunter capable of running at more than 60 km/h. We can try to list the striking differences between them.
First of all, the Giant Panda is a bear; it comes from the Ursidae family like the grizzly or the polar bear. It measures about 180 cm long and 90 cm wide when adults. Its colors make it a bear in its own right. The black spots on his face have attracted the admiration of many people. These are still subject to many questions from researchers.
It is a lazy species; it does not move fast and sleeps more than ten hours a day. However, we should not blame him, he digests poorly the food he eats, and that's why he preserves his energy. The giant panda has a carnivorous digestive system, but it only eats plants, especially bamboo, which it finds in its natural habitat.
On the other hand, the South China Tiger is a monster of nature; the male measures more than 2.5 meters in length and can weigh up to 300 kg. It has a strength of 3 tons per square centimeter and sharp claws capable of shredding its prey. It is much more dangerous for humans than the panda, one paw, and you risk death in front of him!
The South China Tiger eats mostly buffalos, sambars, and peacocks, but it will not say no if another prey presents itself in front of it. It is a carnivore that can store up to 40 kg of meat in a single meal!
Their situation in front of the progressive disappearance of their species
The threat of extinction is felt more by the South China Tiger than by the Panda. At the moment, we have a sad assessment of the situation of the carnivore: there are no known specimens left in the wild. This population has been decimated by man, primarily because of political decisions and hunting, and the black market.
Under the Maoist regime, the Chinese communist dictator decided to hunt the Tigers en masse to fight against the plague. While there were 4000 members of the species before these measures, there were only about ten at the end of Mao's reign.
The only surviving specimens are in research centers, where researchers are trying to develop the species to release it into the wild. Some say that this should happen as early as the end of 2020 in South Africa.
The giant Panda is in a difficult situation, as deforestation and global warming have taken their toll on many species members. Today, there are only 1600 specimens in the wild and only 50 in the centers. Even if it is not as worrying as its neighbor, the Tiger, the Chinese bear is facing a drastic decrease in its population, so much so that it has lost more than half of its fellow bears in the space of 50 years.
The expansion of agricultural land pushes the pandas into ever smaller territories with low bamboo density. By being spread on small parts, it will be more challenging to find its food and reproduce. The panda mates with a cousin from the same tribe, causing consanguinity and weakening the young's health. That's why we find more and more pandas with genetically transmitted diseases.
In research centers, giant pandas are put together between members of the opposite sex to reproduce. But even then, the task is complex: they seem to lack libido, and it isn't easy to get them to get close to each other.
As a result, we can't say whether the animal's situation will improve to the point where it is no longer an endangered species. Despite the efforts of the Chinese government, which has banned hunting and punishes all poachers with the death penalty, we can't be sure of anything about the bear because it is so fragile.
Species that have always fascinated us
Giant pandas first inspired myth in China; their eye patches are at the origin of several theories of Chinese folklore, including that of the shepherdess. A tale tells that a shepherdess would have defended the Pandas against. Tigers! She would have interposed herself between the Tigers and the bears to protect them. Unfortunately, she died from the beast's claws while trying to save the pandas. Her gesture so moved the latter that they cried and wiped their eyes while their hands were full of ashes. Thus were born the black spots so characteristic of the panda.
This animal is also popular with children since the animated film Kung-Fu Panda, featuring a Chinese bear learning Kung-Fu. With his black spots and clumsiness, he has touched the hearts of millions of people worldwide.
Today, he can be found in accessories like panda bracelets that can be worn in all shapes and colors. But it can also be found on headgear, such as panda hats and caps that can be purchased on the online store The Panda King.
The tiger, meanwhile, arouses the passion and admiration of multiple cultures in the world from the West to the East. It is even considered the protector god of the mountain in some primitive Chinese societies.
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