…having a strrrrrretch!! ♥
Whiskers are a strong indication of a tiger’s mood, with those of a calm cat turning down and at right angles to the face, while an angry animal has whiskers which are erect and widespread. (this guy was just having a scratch and a stretch!)
Asian tradition has long held the erroneous belief that whiskers give courage to the wearer, prevent the pain of toothache, and are an aphrodisiac. Even today these traditions are firmly held by native peoples, who also carry tiger whiskers as charms to protect against bullets.
Not even preserved animals like the Smithsonian Institution’s Bengal tiger is safe from these beliefs. Despite the whiskers on their display being only fibreglass, tourists continually remove them, either as souvenirs, or for use in traditional folk medicines. Maintenance on the tiger involves regular replacement of these lost whiskers.
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