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International Tiger Day, also known as Global Tiger Day, is observed on 29th July every year. The main objective is to raise awareness about the dwindling numbers of wild tigers. It also aims at promoting a global ecology system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and creating awareness among the general public about tiger conversation.
International Tiger Day was created at Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit (SPTS) in 2010. When the Indian tigers were rapidly declining, the Indian government started the Project Tiger in the year 1973 which was launched in Jim Corbett National Park. The Project Tiger is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
On International Tiger day, PM Modi released the All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018 saying that India has 2,967 tigers. The tiger population in India has escalated from 1,400 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018.
He said, " It was decided in St. Petersburg that target of doubling tiger population would be 2022, we achieved it 4 years in advance."
He further said that, "In five years, the number of protected areas increased from 692 to over 860, community reserves from 43 to over 100."
"Today, we can proudly say that with nearly 3,000 tigers, India is one of the world's biggest and most secure habitats," the PM added.
He said his government is committed to take all the necessary steps and support all efforts to protect tigers. " I feel it is possible to strike a healthy balance between development and environment. In our policies, in our economics, we have to change the conversation about conservation."
Here are some facts about tigers:
There are nine subspecies of tigers - Bengal tiger, Amur (Siberian) tiger, South China tiger, Malayan tiger, Indo-Chinese tiger, Sumatran tiger, Bali tiger (extinct), Javan tiger (extinct), Caspian tiger (extinct).
An adult Amur (Siberian) tiger is the largest sub-species and can weigh up to 660 pounds.
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest, with males weighing up to 310 pounds.
All tigers don't have the same stripes. The stripes range in colour from light brown to black and are not symmetrical on both sides of the tiger.
Tigers keep their claws sharp by keeping them inside the retractable sheath and they take it out only when they go hunting.
White tigers aren't a separate subspecies nor are they albino.
Tigers have an average lifespan of 10-15 years.
A tiger's hind legs are longer than its front legs, giving them the ability to leap forward 20-30 ft in one jump.
Tigers have large, padded feet that make it easier for them to stalk their prey silently.