By Wendy Redal, Editorial Director at Natural Habitat Adventures
1. Tigers are vulnerable
Tigers are the most vulnerable and threatened cats on earth; possibly as few as 3200 are left in the wild.
2. Tigers have been around a long time
Tigers have roamed Asia for more than a million years!
3. Ever seen a black & white tiger?
Bengal tigers are normally orange with black stripes, but some are cream or white in color, due to a recessive gene for this coloration. These blue-eyed tigers are rarely found in the wild.
4. Be your own tiger
Just as with zebras, each tiger’s markings are distinct. No individual has the exact stripe pattern of another.
5. A tiger’s tail
A typical tiger tail is between two and three feet long.
6. Tigers’ favorite food
Tigers’ preferred food, essential to their health and sustenance is ungulates: hoofed game such as deer, buffalo and wild pigs.
7. A life alone
Other than mothers with their cubs, tigers live largely solitary lives.
8. Tigers are nocturnal
Tigers roam and hunt mostly at night.
9. Tigers need lots of land to hunt
Where prey is abundant, as in Chitwan National Park in Nepal, male tiger territories may be as small as 7500 acres. In Russia, where prey density is low, the male Amur tiger’s territory may range up to nearly a quarter-million acres! Females, which are smaller, require significantly less hunting terrain.
10. Making babies
After a gestation period of just 104-106 days, tigers often give birth in caves or rocky crevices, and most females birth two or three cubs at a time.
11. A tiger’s life span
Tigers have been known to reach 26 years of age in the wild.
12. Tigers vary in size
The largest tiger species is the Amur, or Siberian, tiger, which may weigh up to 660 pounds. Bengal tigers, which Nat Hab guests encounter on safari in India, weigh around 550 pounds. The smallest, the Sumatran, tops out at 310 pounds.
13. World Wildlife Fund in action
The tiger holds a storied place in myth and legend. For over a million years tigers roamed Asia, from Turkey to the Russian Far East, Siberia to Bali. In the past century, however, the tiger has become one of the most vulnerable species on earth. World Wildlife Fund is working diligently to ensure the tiger’s survival through efforts to halt the tiger trade, stop poaching, preserve habitat and support governments and local communities in tiger management and conservation.