~posted by SPL staff

Tigers (Panthera tigris), the largest of all cats, are critically endangered. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), fewer than 2,500 adult tigers remain in the wild today. There were over 100,000 a century ago. They have lost over 90% of their natural habitat and are now found in isolated populations.

wpz logoAt the Woodland Park Zoo, a major state-of-the-art exhibit called Banyan Wilds opened May 2. The focal point of the Asian Tropical Forest Initiative is a naturalistic complex teeming with the wildlife and sounds of a tropical forest. Members of the Malayan tiger subspecies (Panthera tigris jacksonia) and sloth bears are featured in Banyan Wilds. The three tigers are brothers Olan, Liem, and Eko, born at the Little Rock Zoo in 2013. In celebration of this new exhibit, the Zoo has partnered with the Library on several projects occurring in the next few months.

tiger1A tiger statue named “Read Between the Lines” will be displayed at the Central Library as part of the Zoo’s Show Your Stripes Tour. The unveiling will take place on May 7 at 10:30 in the Children’s Center on Level 1 during the Preschool Story Time. On May 8, it will be moved to Level 3 where it will remain until mid-September. Decorated by well-known Seattle artist Steve Jensen, faintly-visible images of tigers from antique books can be seen in the white stripes of this cool cat. Reading between the lines, indeed…  It will be one of ten tigers, each with a different theme, on display around Puget Sound. Three of the statues will tour parades, fairs, markets, and selected Library branches. If you enjoyed the Pigs on Parade in 2001 and 2007, you will love these beautiful tigers. Later this summer, they will be auctioned to support the Zoo’s tiger conservation efforts.

tiger2The Zoo will present two noon lectures in May at the Central Library in the Microsoft Auditorium. On Thursday, May 14, the talk will be Tigers Forever: Global Collaboration to Save Malayan Tigers. Dr. Fred Koontz, Vice President of Field Conservation, will discuss the efforts of the Woodland Park Zoo and Panthera to save tigers on the Malayan Peninsula. On Friday, May 15, the lecture Palm Oil: Super Oil or Deforestation Agent? will focus on how palm oil, used in everyday products, destroys land and animal habitats. The speaker for this complex issue will be Bobbi Miller, the Zoo’s Field Conservation coordinator.

“All in the Feline Family,” a colorful display, will be shown on Level 3 at the Central Library during May. It will introduce you to the great diversity of felines represented in the Library’s nonfiction and fiction materials. Tigers belong to a taxonomic family called Felidae that includes lions, bobcats, cheetahs, leopards, lynxes, pumas – and, of course, the domestic cat! Felines are found worldwide, are excellent hunters, and show behaviors ranging from the ferocious to the playful. To view more nonfiction works on domestic cats and other animals in May, be sure to see the “National Pet Month” display running concurrently on Level 7.  The services of the Seattle Animal Shelter will be featured in the pets display.

The Seattle Public Library’s Summer of Learning Program, Wild Science!, is another exciting Zoo/Library partnership. Special events at branch libraries, reading lists, and fun activities will be offered. The Zoo will host a weekend celebration on September 11, 12, and 13 to mark the completion of the program. While supplies last, free tickets will be given away to qualified youth participants and their parents/caregivers who have filled out a Summer of Learning evaluation form.

Here are recommended adult books on tigers in the Library’s collection. For more suggestions, be sure to take a look at our tigers reading list for nonfiction and fiction works.

Fierce Beauty: Preserving the World of Wild Cats by Bhagavan Antle
Close-up photographs highlight the wild cats of TIGERS (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species), a fifty-acre wildlife preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The Wild Cat Book by Fiona Sunquist
This work is a comprehensive survey of the cats of the world – their biology, their distribution, and their survival status.

Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat by Steve Winter
The wildlife conservation organization Panthera partnered with the National Geographic Society to present stunning photographs of tigers in Myanmar, Thailand, Sumatra, and India.



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