By Leonardo DiCaprio and Carter S. Roberts
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Tigers have long provoked awe in the human imagination, becoming symbols of untamed nature whose “fearful symmetry,” in the words of William Blake, has inspired everything from art to advertising. In the wild, however, tigers are on the verge of disappearing.
A century ago, some 100,000 tigers roamed the wilderness across much of Asia. But 100 years of human overhunting of tigers’ prey, such as deer and wild pigs, and of poaching driven by demand for tigers’ skins and other body parts has been catastrophic. As few as 3,200 tigers remain, living in only 7 percent of their original natural habitat.