|Range||From India to Siberia and souteast Asia|
|Subspecies||P. t. tigris|
P. t. corbetti
|Conservation Status |
There are five subspecies of tiger. They live in a variety of habitats in eastern and southern Asia, from the snow-clad taiga to tropical forests. The tiger is largest of today's cats and the only one with a striped coat. The Siberian tiger is the largest of the species. It has a thick coat for protection from the cold.
Like all cats, tigers stalk and pounce. Fast and powerful, they bring down large prey such as deer.
The majority of tigers are tawny brown in colour with dark stripes and whitish tones on its underside. Some wild tigers also have been noted in all white and all black colour (which is very rare).
The tiger is the only big cats that have the stripes on the body. When zoo veterinarian shaved off a sections of the coat for surgery, they noticed that these stripes extend through to the skin. Scientists believe that the stripes helps them camouflage while hunting in the wild, often hunting between dusk and dawn. Neighbouring females have territories that are exclusive or overlapping, while a male’s home range may take in that of several breeding females. Litters of two or three cubs are suckled by the mother for about six months, but they remain with the mother, learning the skills of hunting and survival, until they are about two years old.
Average lifespan for tiger expected to be about 10 years. Tigers range from Indian to Siberia and southeast Asia. They prefer to live in a forest although they can be found in grassland and swamp places. Tigers require sufficient cover, a good population of large prey and a constant water supply, thus it is not surprising to see tigers are expert in swimming.
The tiger also heavily hunted for its bones, which are ground up to make medicines. It is also killed because of its threat to people and livestock. There may be fewer than 5,000 in the wild.
- The most notorious ‘man-eating’ tiger was the Champawat tigress. She killed 436 people.
- Tigers rarely attack from the front, so Indian farmers wear face masks on the backs of their heads to confuse the cats.