Releasing Tigers - Page 1: Releasing
Captive-Bred Species | 2
& 3: Issues
Specific To The Tiger |
4 to 9: Xiongsheng Bear & Tiger Entertainment City | 10&11: Tiger Moon Sanctuary
Lack of genetic diversity:
This affects some subspecies more than others. The South Chinese tiger is in the worst situation. If we could release this subspecies into the wild we would be releasing heavily inbred animals which have already developed genetic problems. Releasing males with low sperm counts, or females with a record of low cub survival rates serves little use.
For both captive and wild tigers there is little point in establishing a large gene pool unless robust stock is used. Weak stock will have very low resistance to any illnesses.
This problem is often overlooked, but it's a very real issue. How would you feel if a tiger moved in next door? I know almost everyone reading this will get excited at the idea. ("Hey! Cool!")
The native people don't. There's a very high resistance to the suggestion of translocating new tigers into an area, even if it is a tiger reserve.
Your neighbourhood tiger would be fed, caged, secured, well looked after (I hope). Newly wild tigers would need to convert from being captive-fed to catching their own food. The tiger presents a very real and immediate threat to the people and their livelihoods, the domestic stock. To help offset this problem, the Indian government already compensates financially where it can be seen a goat or cattle beast has been lost to a tiger.
A steady release of captive-bred tigers, if it could be carried off, would also encounter the quite major problem of indirectly supplying animals to later be killed and sold on the black market. We are still a very long way from changing native beliefs that tiger parts are useful medicines, so therefore, we are still a very long way from halting poaching..
It is estimated that to reintroduce ten tigers into the wild would take at least five years and cost in the region of half a million American dollars. Some zoos consider it is more realistic to look at being able to release strong tiger stocks back into reserves in 200 years time. The truth is likely to be somewhere in between.
It is currently accepted that the tiger is an animal which is not able to be successfully reintroduced to the wild from a captive facility. At best mortality rate would be extremely high. Experts are searching for answers, but they are far from having them yet. Zoos are virtually holding tigers in perpetuity, and until a way of releasing the big cats is found, this must continue to be the situation.
With Thanks To Hans Stenström