Clip | Super Cats: Episode 3 | Science and Secrets - The Truth About Tiger Conservation

Despite their visibility in popular culture, tigers are one of the most threatened big cats in the world. With their populations shrinking in the wild, they could go extinct if we become too complacent. Conservation efforts are critical.

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Dr. Krithi Karanth's love of tigers started at a very young age.

'I first saw a tiger when I was two years old with my father and my grandfather at Nagarhole National Park.

I was amazed and in awe.

There is nothing like seeing a tiger in the wild.'

Years later and now a world-renowned tiger conservationist, Krithi remains enthralled.

'There are no words that can really capture the emotion of seeing a tiger.

Every single time I've seen a tiger in the wild, I've been either left speechless or giggling silly or crying.

I mean, it's a range of emotions, but you never forget.

To me, tigers are truly one of the most spectacular cats on the planet.'

But like so many of the cats, survival of the tiger is on a knife edge.

'We see images and stories about tigers all the time.

It could give us the impression that they're not endangered, but they absolutely are.

They're one of the most threatened big cats in the world today.'

Over the last century, 95% of wild tigers have vanished.

There are now more tigers in captivity in the United States alone than in all the wild.

'It is impossible for me to imagine a world without wild tigers, but if we get complacent, we could see tigers go extinct.

Sorry.

I couldn't -- I couldn't imagine a world without tigers.'