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The Bali Tiger

The Bali tiger was a feline subspecies native from the Island of Bali (Indonesia), which lived in the western coastal region of this island. This subspecies was very similar to the Java tiger, but of smaller dimensions compared to others.

The Bali tiger measured on average 1.70 m of length and around 100 kg of weight. The Bali tiger is the smallest subspecies of felines, having just half of the weight of the Siberian tiger.

Talking about its extinction it is extremely sad. It happened in the year 1937 when a hunter murdered the last female Bali tiger at Sumbar Kima, west Bali. Thus, at the end of that decade, another tiger subspecies had disappeared. The agriculture that destroyed the natural habitats of the tigers, along with the ruthless hunting activities, ended up extinguishing the breed since no specimen remained for captivity.

This is a tragedy, even more, considering that in less than sixty years, three tiger subspecies became extinct, making critical the current situation of many other subspecies that face the threat of extinction.

Physically, one could recognize the Bali tiger for being a small feline in comparison to other subspecies. It was very similar to the Java tiger, only that the stripes on its fur had a denser and darker tone. The coat of this tiger was short, abundant, bright orange and had few stripes compared to other tigers. Its stripes pattern was very characteristic; it tended to make branches in smaller stripes.

One could see how its belly’s coat was bright white, also covered part of the face and highlighted among the dark orange color. The Bali tiger also had a very particular cranial structure; the nasal bones were unequal concerning the teeth.

One of the reasons for the hunting of the Bali tigers were the superstitions that the population of this region had around them. They used their whiskers to make a powder poison with which they attacked their enemies. It was also custom to give to newborns a black coral necklace that had a tiger’s tooth or a bone piece to protect them, because the natives believed that these functioned as protection charms, especially the teeth and claws.

It is believed that the number of Bali tigers wasn’t too large, since they could only be found on the island of Bali, reason this subspecies was more strongly impacted by the arrival of humans, the development of agriculture, the subsequent deforestation and the hunting activities, these were all factors that influenced the survival of this subspecies.

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