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Stop Killing, Start Saving
Mark, Age 12, Easton, CT

The farmer slowly raises his gun and pulls the trigger. The majestic tiger slowly falls to the ground limp and lifeless. Even though the farmers are shooting to protect their livestock, there could be a better way. Farmers should be controlled more by the government. I think the government should take more responsibility in conserving these amazing cats. Imagine that you were a tiger, your land taken over and it was hard to find food. What would you do? Where would you go? You would be forced to move in on the farmers. And to make it worse, there are hunters after them to. These factors working against them are why Iím saying we should stop killing tigers.

If tigers were gone, the ecosystem in which they live will be disrupted. When an animal in a food chain dies, there is a population explosion of one animal, and/or a decrease of another. If tigers were to become extinct, there would be a population explosion of deer. Too many deer in the ecosystem would disrupt the plant life which could affect humans. People would start killing deer, but they might kill too much and the deer would become extinct. Doing the opposite could help the animals. To keep the tigers alive, you have to keep the deer alive. To keep the deer alive, you have to keep the plants alive, and so on. In this way, we save the whole forest.

Not only will the forest be affected by the tigerís disappearance, but so will we. Tigers can run up to thirty five miles per an hour. If there was a major storm, tigers would be the first to run to safety, warning us about incoming danger. In addition, tigers are Apex predators.. That means that they are an indicator of the forestís health. This can show us how healthy our forest is and what we can do to help it. If the tigers looked starved, that would mean that the forest isnít providing the tigers prey with enough food. Ninety nine percent of the time when this happens, itís our fault. When it is our fault, we can usually help stop it. The Chinese may think that the bone powder of tigers can be used for medicinal use, but it is not proven. Some people like to have tiger skins to wear which means another tiger would have to be killed. Of course the tiger skins looks great, but what if the tables were turned on us and it was the reverse? Not a very pleasing thought is it?

When an animal is endangered, money from taxes and donations go towards saving it. Even though organizations like WWF (World Wildlife Fund) are great, it would be better if there services werenít needed. This would happen if we stopped killing animals like tigers. Bitu Sahagal, editor of an Indian Newspaper, says, ďThe money spent on destroying the tigerís habitat is one hundred times more than the money granted for the National Tiger Conservation Authority.Ē This shows how much money could be put towards helping tigers, but instead is being used to hurt them. This is what we have to act against to save the tigers.

Next time you see or hear about tigers being killed, ask yourself, how can I help? What could I do? Although becoming an animal activist would be a lot of help, doing something as small as donating money would be a great help. Doing this would make you feel like a better person, knowing that you did the right thing. Writing to your local politician seeking his support is also helpful as the government could also create better ways to stop poachers from destroying this magnificent creature. Anything you do to help would put the tiger one step closer to getting off the endangered species list. This is why I want you, to help save the tigers.

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