London - Viewers of the Animal Planet cable and satellite channel have voted the tiger the world's favourite animal, narrowly beating the dog, according to a poll published on its website, www.animalplanet.co.uk on Monday.
More than 50 000 viewers from 73 countries voted in the poll, tigers receiving 10 904 votes, just 17 votes more than dogs.
Animal behaviourist Candy d'Sa, who worked with Animal Planet on the list, said: "We can relate to the tiger, as it is fierce and commanding on the outside, but noble and discerning on the inside.
"In contrast, the dog is a loyal and respectful creature and brings out the lighter, more communicative side of human nature," she said.
Callum Rankine, international species officer at the World Wildlife Federation conservation charity, said the result gave him hope.
"If people are voting tigers as their favourite animal, it means they recognise their importance, and hopefully the need to ensure their survival," he said.
The tiger received 21 percent of the vote, the dog 20, the dolphin 13, the horse 10, the lion 9, the snake 8, followed by the elephant, the chimp, the orangutan and the whale. - Sapa-dpa