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China pushed for the complete elimination of tigers in the 1960s and came dangerously close to succeeding. Facing page: Tiger hunts were a popular sport until late in the twentieth century. This painting shows a tiger fighting back during a seventeenthcentury hunt. Tigers have also been hunted because their gorgeous striped skins make exotic coats, rugs, and wall hangings. For most of the century past, we treated tigers as though they were more valuable dead than alive. One historian estimates that between 1875 and 1925, 80,000 tigers were killed in India alone.
Then he may wander into unfamiliar places, such as farms or villages. If he kills domestic animals, he will probably find himself in a conflict with people. Young female tigers often remain with their mothers for a few weeks longer than their brothers. But they, too, finally leave and strike out to find their own home 34 ranges. Sometimes a tigress permits one of her female cubs to settle on part of her territory. Young tigers begin their own families when they are somewhere between 2 and 3 years of age.
Poachers killed not only tigers. They also killed tiger prey. A fair amount of tiger habitat in Asia doesn’t have tigers because the ungulates that are food for tigers have been killed off by humans. Tiger skins have been used for wall hangings, as well as for coats and rugs. 39 Poachers still destroy tigers, often for their body parts. People who practice traditional Chinese medicine have ground up the body parts of tigers and certain other wild animals for centuries. These people believe the body parts will cure various illnesses.