Three big cats that you can symbolically adopt to celebrate National Cat Day!
Today is National Cat Day – a day to celebrate our feline friends. Read on to learn more about three of our favourite big cats: tigers, snow leopards and jaguars.
The True King of the Jungle
Sure, lions are often referred to as the ‘King of the Jungle’ but they live in the plains and savannahs of Africa, not jungles. But tigers do, making them the true king of the jungle. Every tiger has a unique black-striped pattern that goes skin deep – a trait that is unique among the big cats.
The largest of all cats, the tiger is also one of the most threatened species on Earth. As few as 3,200 tigers are now estimated to be left in the wild. There were once nine tiger subspecies, but now there are only six. Three have gone extinct within the last century due to human pressures. WWF is working to double the number of tigers by 2022 – which is the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.
The Ghost of the Mountains
The snow leopard is a majestic symbol of Central Asia’s high mountains. The arduous, rocky terrain of Central Asia’s vast mountain ranges combined with the snow leopard’s elusive nature makes it difficult to study this big cat, also known as the ‘Ghost of the Mountains’. Their numbers have dropped by over 20 per cent in 20 years. With as few as 4,000 left in the wild, this magnificent big cat could soon vanish forever. WWF has been working for years to conserve snow leopards – supporting scientific studies, sustainable community development projects, and efforts to end poaching. But with snow leopard numbers at an all-time low, we are scaling up our activities.
South America’s Big Cat
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the only member of the Panthera genus to be found in the Americas and is by far the biggest cat on the continent. The jaguar’s range, which once spanned from the southern states of the United States down to the tip of South America, now centers on the north and central parts of South America. Most jaguars are tan or orange in colour with distinctive black spots. They live alone and mark their territories of many square kilometres both with their waste and by leaving distinctive claw markings on trees.
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