More Tigers in Captivity
An article in Current Biology indicated that there are seven times as many tigers living in captivity than in nature. However, captive animals can add to the wild population.
Over the last century, the number of tigers living in the wild has decreased rapidly. In 1900 there were still 100.000 wild tigers, now only 3000. Some species have become extinct, such as the Java tiger, the Bali tiger and the Caspian tiger. The South Chinese tiger can only be found in captivity.
Tigers in captivity (zoos and circuses) are increasing in number. Worldwide, there are 15.000 to 20.000 tigers living in captivity. Their genetic material is said to be excellent. It has a greater diversity than the genetic material of their wild family members. Causes are the size of the population, the introduction of new genetic material and the quality of the breeding programs in zoos.