At the beginning of the last century there were about 100 thousand wild tigers, but in the last three generations the population has decreased by about 50 percent and, according to the latest estimate, the world population is around 3,900 individuals. Loss and fragmentation of the habitat, but above all poaching, are putting at risk one of the symbols of “wild nature.” The lack of reliable data on the number of tigers bred in captivity, however, does not allow the authorities to have adequate control over the commercial exploitation of this species, and this only feeds the legal and illegal trade in live tigers, but also in by-products such as skins, bones, meat, especially to cover Asian demand. According to one of our sources, a dead tiger can be worth up to 40 times the cost of a live tiger. Italy and France are two of the main tiger trafficking hotspots on the European continent. While body parts are a popular commodity (and are mainly sent to Southeast Asia), these animals are mainly kept as exotic pets or for entertainment purposes. Circus or recreational facilities, such as those that offer visitors the opportunity to take selfie or holding tiger cubs, are common throughout Western and Eastern Europe. We have published an exclusive international survey, curated by Rudi Bressa and carried out with the support of the Investigative Journalism for Europe fund. The work began with the seizure of a cargo of tigers on the border between Poland and Belarus. The cargo had departed from Latina, from Italy. The investigation sheds light on the number of tigers present in our country which has always been underestimated, giving a picture of the current numbers. And it tries to open a debate on the role of captivity for the future of the tigers.

So, among the many endangered animals we find our beloved tigers, elegant and feared animals at the same time; I have never seen one and I’d like it happened one day but above all I would hate to live in a world without tigers.

Every animal exists, has a place and a role on the planet earth and anybody has the right to change things; on the contrary everybody has the duty to protect them

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Liotta Antonio



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