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Two tigers rescued from one of the animal parks operated by Joe Exotic, the focus of Netflix's Tiger King. Marc Piscotty / Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to ban the keeping of big cats as pets, after the Netflix documentary series Tiger King drew renewed attention to the issue this spring.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A tiger in Kanha National Park, India. Ola Jennersten / WWF-Sweden

By Stuart Chapman

The goal set 10 years ago to double the number of wild tigers by 2022 remains one of the most ambitious conservation goals ever for a single species. Currently home to the vast majority of the world's remaining tigers, well-resourced protected areas are a cornerstone of this goal. Tigers are a conservation-dependent species and the persistence of tigers relies on well-funded and well-protected conservation areas.

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person holding green leaf vegetable
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Bringing your own reusable grocery bags when you go shopping is one of the easiest ways to cut down on your plastic consumption — according to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year.

The most sustainable option is to use a bag you already have, whether it's an old tote or a laundry basket (thank TikTok for that idea). You can also make your own reusable grocery bags out of T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase designated reusable grocery bags, here are our recommendations.
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Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris, female crossing track, Bandavgarh National Park, India. David Tipling / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Neil Carter

Tigers are one of the world's most iconic wild species, but today they are endangered throughout Asia. They once roamed across much of this region, but widespread habitat loss, prey depletion and poaching have reduced their numbers to only about 4,000 individuals. They live in small pockets of habitat across South and Southeast Asia, as well as the Russian Far East — an area spanning 13 countries and 450,000 square miles (1,160,000 square kilometers).

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Two rare Malayan tiger cubs born at the Bronx Zoo in January 2016, Nadia and Azul made their public debut in September 2016. Nadia has now tested positive for the new coronavirus, and Azul has shown symptoms.

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo is believed to be the first animal in the U.S. and the first tiger in the world to test positive for the new coronavirus.

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Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

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A tiger looks out from its cage at a new resort and zoo in the eastern Lao town of Tha Bak on Dec. 5, 2018. Karl Ammann believes the "zoo" is really a front for selling tigers. Terrence McCoy / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Are tigers extinct in Laos?

That's the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.

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The Indian government on Monday said its native wild tiger population has grown by more than 30% in four years thanks to bold conservation efforts.

The number of tigers in the wild rose to 2,967, up from 2,226 in 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the increase as a "historic achievement."

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Bengal tiger mother with 2-month-old cubs in India. Andy Rouse / Photolibrary / Getty Images Plus

Climate change may wipe out the world's only mangrove-living Bengal tiger population in just 50 years, according to a new analysis conducted by the United Nations.

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Black rhino. Gerry Zambonini / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Great news from China! Following intense international backlash, the Chinese government said Monday that it has postponed a regulation that would have allowed the use of tiger bone and rhino horn for medicine, research and other purposes.

In October, China alarmed animal rights activists around the world when it weakened a 25-year-old ban on the trading of the animal parts. Conservationists said it would be akin to signing a "death warrant" for endangered tiger and rhino populations.

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A young female Sumatran Tiger. Steve Wilson / CC BY 2.0

China alarmed animal rights activists around the world Monday when it weakened a 25-year-old ban on the trading of tiger bone and rhinoceros horn, the Huffington Post reported.

China said the controversial parts would now be allowed to be used for medicine and research at certified hospitals. The government further said the parts would only be sourced from farmed animals, but conservationists say that it is hard to tell whether parts come from legal farming or illegal poaching.

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Less than 400 Sumatran tigers currently exist. Steve Wilson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

One of the world's rarest tigers was killed this week after being caught in a pig trap on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Agence France Presse reported, citing local officials.

What's worse, the critically endangered Sumatran tiger was pregnant with two cubs when it died and was expected to give birth in two weeks, local reports said.

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Tiger: Bernard DuPont (CC BY-SA 2.0); Wolf: John and Karen Hollingsworth /USFWS

By John R. Platt

Do the species most in need of conservation also receive the most scientific research?

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