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July 28, 2016

“I’m a Little Tiger” children’s book seeks to teach Vietnamese kids about the poaching crisis

Humane Society International

In celebration of International Tiger Day, Humane Society International has released “I’m A Little Tiger,” a children’s book about tigers and the issues that threaten their survival, including poaching, the illegal wildlife trade and habitat destruction. The book is the second in HSI’s “I’m A Little…” series of children’s books and videos, produced through a partnership with the Vietnamese government.

The book is written from the point of view of an Indochinese tiger cub, an endangered tiger species found in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, where only 50 individuals remain in the wild. The cub explains how the Indochinese tiger’s habitat has deteriorated in recent years, and the dangers his family faces from poachers who are after their bones. Despite national and international laws strictly protecting tigers from being hunted and traded, some individuals continue to trade their parts believing that tiger bones have medicinal properties, but these claims are not supported by science.

In the last 50 years, three subspecies of tiger have also become extinct. All six remaining subspecies are now critically endangered or endangered, some with less than 250 individuals remaining in the wild. The future of tigers is bleak and urgent action is needed to protect them. 

Adam Peyman, a program manager for HSI who also wrote and illustrated the book, said: “This book shows children in Vietnam that tigers, while often portrayed as fearsome and powerful, actually need their help. Poaching and trafficking of tigers and their parts is decimating wild tiger populations. Tigers need a new generation to form a new tradition of admiration and protection for wildlife.”     

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HSI is working to improve international and domestic laws and regulations, to increase enforcement of existing protective measures and to convince consumers of Traditional Chinese Medicine that the use of wildlife parts, including parts from threatened species like tigers, rhinos and pangolins, is ineffective, unnecessary and is threatening the survival of these animals.

Since 2013, HSI has been working with the Vietnamese government to reduce the demand for rhino horn in the country through a public education campaign. With this new book and forthcoming books in the series, HSI hopes to continue working to educate the public about threatened species of wild animals while reducing demand for these amazing animals in Vietnam and elsewhere.

Media contact: Raul Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 301.721.6440

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