In 2009, a man was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing and eating the last known wild Indochinese tiger in China. None have been seen in China since he killed the tiger in 2007.
The Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is a solitary cat capable of speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Though notable for its smaller stature, when compared to other tiger subspecies, it is just as awe-inspiring and powerful. Cubs are born blind with closed ears, all of which open and function within a few days. They are then dependent upon their mother for the next eighteen months until they begin hunting alone.
Tropical and sub-tropical mountainous forests
Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma
What do they eat?
Deer, wild boar, birds, cattle and other available prey
Poaching of both the tigers and their prey has led to their dwindling numbers; Chinese medicine, yet again, being a huge contributor to this catastrophe. Habitat reduction has also played a big part. Due to its size, the Indochinese tiger has no natural predators. Man is the only threat to the species.
In 2010 it was estimated there were only about 350 Indochinese tigers left in the wild. Exact figures have been difficult to obtain. Access to the tiger’s habitat has been restricted in the past, and entry permits have only recently been granted to biologists in order to conduct surveys.
“Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?”