Of the worlds nine subspecies of tiger, Indonesia was once blessed with three, however, due to the growth of human population and encroachment on the tiger's natural habit, which inevitably led to hunting, the last wild Bali Tiger was shot and killed the island of Bali in 1937, and though there may have been a few animals left for a decade or two after that, no sightings having been recorded since. With none in captivity either, the Bali Tiger is another extinct specie.

To the west of Bali lies the much larger Island of Java, where once the Javan Tiger lived and thrived up until the end of the 18th century. Yet again, as human population grew the numbers of Javan Tigers decreased to the eventual point that they too are now extinct; the last Javan Tigers were sighted in the uninhabitable (by humans) terrain of the steep and rugged mountains of Java's southeast were in 1976 …... this is well within my lifetime! As with the Bali Tiger, there are no captive Javan Tigers anywhere in the world; both species of Indonesian tigers have been wiped from the face off our earth.

The sole surviving Indonesian tiger is the Sumatran Tiger, listed since 2008 as Critically Endangered (CR), one step away from Extinct in the Wild (EW), and by now there are perhaps no more than a few hundred left in their natural habitat. Thankfully, the Indonesian Forestry Ministry and Safari Park joined in cooperation with the Australia Zoo back in 2007, and together they are working toward conserving this magnificent animal in protected areas in the wild as well as by way of captive breeding programmes.

There are of course other wildlife parks, reserves, and zoos around the world that care for captive Sumatran Tigers, and while over in the UK last month I had my first encounters with these stunningly beautiful creatures at the World Heritage Foundation and Howletts Wildlife Park, both venues located in Kent. The handsome character you see here shares an large enclosure with his female partner at Howletts.

Thank your for your time and interest in reading, and whether you read all this or not (!), I'm endeavouring to send out positive vibes wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead :^)

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