The tiger is the largest feline animal currently in existence. The tiger is an apex predator that predominantly preys on ungulates such as wild boar or deer. The most distinctive part of the tiger are the black stripes that cover its mostly orange body. Tigers are generally solitary but social as a species, meaning that they will interact with one another to avoid fighting, but will generally stick to their own territories when not seeking to mate. Cubs will generally stay with their mother for a period of two years before leaving to find their own territory.
The historical range of the tiger was far greater in the past then it is today, with tigers once ranging between the Eastern Anatolia Region to the Amur River basin in the west and as far south as the foothills of the Himalayas to Bali. Is estimated that the global tiger population has decreased 93% since the beginning of the 20th century. This drastic drop in population size has multiple causes, but almost all experts agree that deforestation due to human activity is the leading cause, with the secondary cause being poaching. Tigers are currently listed as Threatened on the IUCN Red List and have been since 1986.
Tigers are an important part of popular culture, both for their prominence in many mythologies around the world, but also for the part that their body parts are used in Eastern medicinal practices. Tigers are commonly found on flags, coasts of arms, and mascots of sports teams. Tigers are also the national animal for South Korea, Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia.
There are a number of subspecies of tiger, the most common of which is the Bengal tiger, native the Indian subcontinent. Although their population was classified as one of the most at-risk, it is estimated that in more recent years their population has begun to slowly increase once more, from approximately 1,800 in 2010 to between 2,800 and 3,200 in 2018. Although many charities have praised the efforts of governments to curtail poaching, they still claim that the tiger is still under threat, particular as tiger bones are highly sought by individuals practising traditional medicines. Tiger bones are believed to be a cure for rheumatism and body pain, although no modern medical research has confirmed this.