Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild


The tiger is one of the largest of the big cats, renowned for its power and easily recognised markings.  Nine different subspecies of tiger are recognised, but three of these have already become extinct. The largest living subspecies is the Siberian tiger (males weigh up to 300kg) and the smallest is the Sumatran tiger (weighing between 100 and 150kg).  The Bengal tiger is the most common of the tigers, but even so there are thought to be less than 2500 of these left in the wild.

(C) Michael Vickers

Tigers have one of the most recognizable coats of all animals.  They range from a deep red-orange to a more yellow colour, with a white underside and beautiful black stripes. A tiger’s markings are unique, with no two tigers having the same pattern of stripes.  The smaller subspecies tend to be generally darker than the larger ones. The stripes act to camouflage the tiger, allowing it to ambush its prey without being spotted.

Tigers are strong swimmers, and unlike other cats will actively seek out water; they will often cool off in pools in the heat of the day. They have powerfully built legs and shoulders, and can leap horizontally up to 10 metres!

(C) Michael Vickers
(C) Michael Vickers

Tigers hunt alone and mainly at night, their night vision is six times better than that of humans. They are able to bring down prey much bigger than themselves, using their size and strength to knock it off balance.  Only one in twenty hunts ends in a successful kill.

Tigers are solitary and territorial animals. A male tiger’s territory can be as big as 100 km2, and they can cover 20 miles in one night whilst hunting. A hungry tiger can eat around 25kg in one night, and they will sleep once they have made a kill and eaten. They spend between 16 and 20 hours each day sleeping and resting.

There are estimated to be as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Tiger numbers have declined by about 95% over the past 100 years.  Three subspecies, the Bali, Caspian and Javan are all extinct. Tigers are threatened by poaching and habitat loss due to human settlement and are increasingly coming into conflict with humans as they are forced into areas close to villages.

Males: Tiger
Females: Tigress
Body Hight: 0.7-1.2m
Tail Length: 1m
Body Length: 2.3m
Weight: 100-300Kg
Life Expectancy: 10 years
Diet: Wild boar, deer, buffalo, antelope, monkeys
HABITAT: Forests, grassland, mangrove
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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