As part of our new campaign to Save the Tiger, here are eight things you should know about the beautiful Caspian subspecies and its demise:
1. The Caspian tiger was one of the largest sub-species of tiger with strong legs, wide paws and unusually large claws.
2. The Caspian tiger had a range from Turkey in the East to China in the West.
3. Caspian tigers preyed mainly on wild boar, though they occasionally fed on red deer, roe deer and domestic animals such as dogs and cattle in winter months.
4. The tiger was aggressively hunted in the early twentieth century as part of a land reclamation programme initiated by the Soviet Union.
5. The tiger also suffered from a loss of natural habitat and the over-hunting of its usual prey populations.
6. Despite persistent rumours to the contrary, it is believed that the Caspian tiger became extinct in the mid-twentieth century.
7. The animal was declared officially extinct by the IUCN in 2003.
8. Fortunately, according to a study by researchers at the University of Oxford, it has been discovered that the genes of the Caspian tiger live on today in the Siberian tiger.
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Sources: petermaas.nl, tigertribe.net