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Tiger Day

"Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"

~ William Blake, The Tyger, 1794

As fearful as they can be, interestingly, tiger stripes are NOT symmetrical on both sides of the tiger! Ranging from light brown to black, tigers are the only cat species that are completely striped and even have stripes on their skin! Like human fingerprints, their stripe patterns are unique to each individual. Tigers are also the largest cat species in the world and the third-largest carnivore on land - only polar and brown bears are larger. Although tigers make many different types of vocalizations, including roaring, growling, hissing, and moaning, they don't purr. They chuff, a breathy snort typically accompanied by a head bobbing movement. Chuffing is often used between two cats as a greeting, during courting, or by a mother comforting her cubs! But be wary! Tigers are ambush hunters preferring to sneak up on their prey, and can leap up to 20 to 30 feet! Quite appropriately, a group of tigers is known as an "ambush" or "streak." 🐅

"Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"

International Tiger Day was created to bring awareness to the plight of endangered tigers in the wild.

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, most recognisable for their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside.

They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

Tigers feature prominently in ancient mythology and folklore.  They appear on many flags, coats of arms, and as mascots for sporting teams. The tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and South Korea.

Famous tigers in literature include Shere Khan, from Rudyard Kipling's 1894 The Jungle Book, who is the mortal enemy  Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves. Other more benign tiger characters aimed at children are A.A. Milne's Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh and Hobbes of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, both of whom are represented as stuffed animals come to life.

Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was designed for the year 2010, which was the beginning of the Chinese "Year of the Tiger" which commenced on Feb. 14.

From the designer "This tiger is white and gold with black stripes and has yellow eyes. - Oh, and lots of sharp 'teeth'".

For the original manuscript of mystic poet's William Blake's poem with his tiger illustration, click the real tiger mom and her cub.