Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Tigers living in the wild could go extinct in 12 years if countries where they live neglect to take action to protect their habitats and fight poachers, The Huffington Post reports.
A "tiger summit" led by the Global Tiger Initiative and hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is urging the 13 countries where tigers still roam (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, and Russia) to eradicate poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade of tiger parts before it's too late. The summit continues through Wednesday and hopes to raise $350 million in donations to help governments finance conservation.
"Wild tigers are not only a symbol of all that is splendid, mystical and powerful about nature," the Global Tiger Initiative said. "The loss of tigers and degradation of their ecosystems would inevitably result in a historic, cultural, spiritual, and environmental disaster for the tiger range countries."
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that only about 3,200 tigers live in the wild today compared to 100,000 a century ago.