Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Day of the Tiger

William Blake was so right when he described a tiger’s “fearful symmetry” and the cat as “burning bright” with its distinctive black stripes on orange fur. Tigers are generally found in forests but are highly adaptable and can be found in open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. Unlike most cats, tigers like swimming and can swim for up to 4 miles.

There are currently 6 subspecies of tigers, although there were 9.

The most varied and most common subspecies is the Bengal. Bengals are primarily found in India and Bangladesh.

If you see a white tiger, it is most probably a Bengal. White tigers only occur when both parents carry the rare gene and only happens in around 1 in 10,000 births. Not only do white tigers have distinctive white fur, they also have blue eyes and pink noses.

Another rare variation is the golden tabby or strawberry tiger thought to be created by a recessive gene. Golden tabby tigers have light golden coloured fur, pale legs and faint orange stripes and the fur is thicker than normal. Golden tabby tigers, like white tigers, are at least part Bengal tiger.

The Indochinese tiger is mostly found in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and China. They’re slightly darker and smaller than Bengal tigers and only a several hundred are left in the wild. The biggest threat to Indochinese tigers is a combination of loss of habit and the use tiger parts in traditional medicines.

In 2004 the Malayan tiger was recognised as a subspecies. There are around 700 left in the wild.

The Sumatran tiger is only found on the island of Sumatra and is critically endangered. These are the smallest tigers, adapting to the thick dense forests they live in, although their natural habitat is under severe threat from logging even in protected national parks.

The largest tiger is the Amur or Siberian tiger. It has a thick coat with a pale golden hue and fewer stripes.

The most critically endangered tiger is the South China tiger. From 1983 to 2007 no wild South China tigers were spotted and a photograph of one taken in 2007 turned out to be a fake. There are currently 59 captive South China tigers but these are descended from only six animals so have poor genetic diversity. There are plans to try and reintroduce these tigers to the wild.

Now extinct are the Bali tiger, the last of which was thought to have been killed in 1937, The Javan tiger, which became extinct in the 1980s, and the Caspian tiger which was found in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and surrounding areas and is very similar to the Amur tiger.

Tigers can mate all year round but generally breed between November and April. After a gestation of 16 weeks a female tiger will have a litter of up to 4 cubs. They will stay with their mother until around two years of age. They need those two years to learn vital hunting skills and if the mother is poached or killed before her cubs have reached maturity, the orphaned cubs will not be able to survive in the wild. Female cubs often take a territory near or overlapping with their mothers. Male cubs wander further taking a larger territory. However female tigers are not fiercely territorial and will allow grown cubs to share territories and even kills with a current litter of cubs.

The tiger has a long history in Asian culture, representing royalty, fearlessness and wrath. Most tigers have a marking on their forehead which resembles the Chinese character for “king” and consequently many cartoon versions of tigers feature this character on their forehead.

The tiger is one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals and represents matter, equal and rival to the dragon which represents spirit. In Buddhim the tiger is one of the Three Senseless Creatures, symbolising anger. The Hindu goddess Durga, as aspect of Devi-Parvati, rides a tigress into battle.

The tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Malaysia, North Korea and South Korea. In a poll by Animal Planet, the tiger was voted the world’s favourite animal, winning 21% of the vote from 50,000 viewers from 73 countries.


  1. Sorry not had a chance to comment as been away for a couple of days- great post- I love the tiger.

    Debz :)

  2. I can see why it's the favourite animal....

  3. Thanks for the comments.
    The last picture is actually a cross-stitch.