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10 of Our Favorite Fictional Tigers

In honor of the Chinese New Year, our Power Grid this week is full of tigers, the Zodiac animal of 2010.  They are advertising icons and side kicks, they walk on two legs or four, most of them talk, and a few of them are accompanied by heavy doses of nostalgia.

In accordance with ancient Gnostalgic tradition, we will now quote Bill Watterson:

Tigers are mean
Tigers are fierce
Tigers have teeth
And claws that pierce. Tigers are great
They can’t be beat
If I was a tiger
That would be neat! Tigers are nimble
And light on their toes
My REspect for tigers
Continually grows. Tigers are perfect
The e-pit-o-me
Of good looks and grace
And quiet dignity! Tigers are great
They’re the toast of town
Life’s always better
When a tiger’s around!

We’d like to add that we had a lot of fun populating and writing this list, but when we went about trying to find a picture of a real tiger for this post, we ran into National Geographic‘s Big Cats Initiative.  It was a sobering reminder that these beloved tigers of literature and pop culture are based on real animals that are not-so-slowly disappearing.

Sure, we all know that it’s important to preserve species, and certainly we can agree that animals as awesome as tigers should be able to live wild in the world.  But it also occurred to us that if tigers go extinct, then some day, some kid is going to have to ask what kind of animal Hobbes is supposed to be.  We hope National Geographic gets all the help it can get.

(Picture via National Geographic.)

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