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Tigers and Popular Culture

April 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 88

The tiger is undoubtedly one of the world's most intriguing and mysterious animals. Its fierce, fiery demeanour has captured the imagination of generations of artists and writers, as well as that of the general public. Today, it is easy to hop on a plane and undertake a tiger safari in the wild, to experience just what it is that makes this beautiful creature so enigmatic. But, when they were more obscure, the image of this fascinating animal was often filtered through the lens of popular culture.

William Blake

Like many writers and poets that would come after him, William Blake, in his ground-breaking poetic work, Songs of Experience [which was the bleaker companion piece to his earlier Songs of Innocence], wrote about the majestic striped animal. In perhaps the most famous piece in the collection, 'The Tyger', he depicted it as a 'fearful' creature and associated it with fires and furnaces and spears.

Martial arts

The tiger is one of the five Shaolin Animals, alongside the Snake, the Crane, the Leopard, and the Dragon. No animal lover would like to come across this mythical version of the animal on a tiger safari, however, as according to Shaolin legend it was a vicious, cruel creature that would stop at nothing to tear its enemy to shreds. Martial artists thus model their stamps and kicks on the animal's aggressive movements.

Breakfast cereal

The television adverts for Kellog's Frosted Flakes [lovingly known as Frosties] feature the beloved cartoon character Tony the Tiger. Although not the sort of majestic animal you'd find on a tiger safari, there's no mistaking Tony's perennial appeal. He was born in 1951, when the graphic designer Eugene Kolkey won the contest to design the official mascot of what was then a new breakfast cereal.

The Jungle Book

In Rudyard Kipling's famous short story collection, 'The Jungle Book' (1894), Shere Khan is an arrogant but lame creature who proclaims himself ruling lord of the whole jungle. In the 1967 Disney adaption, he is the haughty, murderous (no longer lame) villain who puts the frights up a generation of young children!

The world's most popular animal

In a recent poll conducted by the American TV channel, Animal Planet, the Tiger was once and for all voted the world's most favourite animal. Coming as a surprise to some, it beat the dog and the Dolphin to gain the coveted recognition of the world's most popular - perhaps all the more reason to get on board a specialised tiger safari to discover why, for yourself.

Fred East is a freelance nature writer. He is a tiger enthusiast and loves nothing more than going on safari tiger safari tours. He has undertaken tiger safari tours in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.

Source: EzineArticles
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