Bali tiger has been extinct for about 70 years

This is a little-known tiger subspecies which I've recently written about. I focused on the extinction of this tiger. Back in the day, at the beginning of the 20th century, tigers were considered to be pests and nuisances. Bloodthirsty Europeans who were well-healed made their way to Asia to take pot shots at tigers including those on the island of Bali. 

Bali tiger
Bali tiger.

It is said that they tied baits like goats to posts and under or around the goat they placed a leg trap. The tiger approached the goat and was trapped in the jaws of this clamp whereupon the great White Hunter shot the tiger at point blank range. They then went home and tell their wives and children what wonderful hunters they were.

It is all very sad. In addition to being hunted to extinction probably before the 1950s, the Bali tiger was also pushed off their own land by human population growth and expanding human activities including plantations which destroyed their habitat. And humans have an insatiable appetite for wood. That means deforestation. 

Deforestation in Asia has been devastating and it continues to this day. We don't hear much about it in the West but millions of acres, probably millions of square miles of forest, virgin forest, has been cut down for bloody toilet paper or any other crappy human product. Do you like the pun 😉. I shouldn't make upon because it is far too serious a matter

So, as you can see, it's a combination of destruction of habitat and sport hunting in this case. Nowadays another major threat to tigers in the wild is poaching for their body parts to supply them to the Chinese traditional medicine market. That has a big impact because the money is so big.

They like to grind down bones and make tiger bone wine and so on. The photographs that we see on the Bali tiger are all the same. We don't see a majestic animal in the wild looking proud. We see them strung up under a pole, stone dead and bloody. We see the Europeans smiling into the camera proudly declaring to the world how wonderful they are. We see their Balinese helpers joining them. They did all the donkey work to get the tiger killed.

Bali tiger has been extinct for about 70 years
Incredibly sad photograph. A majestic creature like the tiger being treated like trash. I hate people for doing this. This is a Wikipedia Commons photograph by the way.

Sadly, it is hard for us to criticise the mentality of the people in those days. The attitudes and the culture of peoples on the planet have changed dramatically since then. There is a far greater sensitivity to nature and conservation nowadays. However, there is still a hard legacy of those years because there are still rich Westerners paying exorbitant amounts of money to fixers in Africa, primarily, to shoot lions for the fun of it. It's the same sort of process. It's been going on for 100 and more years. The population of lions and tigers have diminished by about 90% over that period of time.

I am going on far too long about it. But the Bali tiger became extinct because of human activities. There was no place for the Bali tiger on that island. In a last-ditch stand against the extirpation of the Bali tiger, the authorities built a reserve to try and protect it. It was far too late. The tiger had died out before they had made the arrangements for the reserves to be operational.


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