The Sumatran tiger
The South China tiger
The Amur (Siberian) tiger
The Indochinese tiger
The Bengal tiger
The Bali tiger
The Caspina tiger
The Javlan tiger
  • Tigers are the largest of the big cats.
  • Wild tigers are at the very top of the food chain.
  • There were originally eight subspecies of tiger, the Javan, the Bali,the Caspian,the Indochinese, the Sumatran, the Bengal, the Siberian, and the South China tiger.
  • Unbelievably three of the eight subspecies are now extinct. The Bali tiger met its demise in the 1940’s, the Caspian in the 1970’s and, the Javan in the 1980’s.
  • The Latin names for the subspecies are:

    1.           pantheris tigris amoyensis (The South China tiger)
    2.           pantheris tigris altaicia (The Amur (Siberian) tiger)
    3.           pantheris tigris sumatrae (The Sumatran tiger)
    4.           pantheris tigris corbetti (The Indochinese tiger)
    5.           pantheris tigris tigris (The Bengal tiger)
    6.           pantheris tigris balica (The Bali tiger)
    7.           pantheris tigris virgate (The Caspina tiger)
    8.           pantheris tigris sondaica (The Javan tiger)
  • The South China tiger is believed to be the antecedent of all tigers.
  • The tiger is the most endangered species of big cat. Of the remaining tiger subspecies the South China tiger is the most critically endangered with only around sixty living in Chinese zoos and approximately twenty in the wild (although none have been spotted for over twenty years). This puts this subspecies at the very top of the endangered species list.
  • Wild tigers do not live in Africa, they are spread out across Asia and are thought to have originated from Southern China.
  • A wild tiger can expect to live ten to fifteen years, while a captive tiger can live up to twenty years.
  • Tigers are an umbrella species, which means to save the wild tiger we must also commit to saving its habitat and prey.
  • Due to the cold winters of Southern Russia and Northern China the Siberian tiger is the largest of the subspecies with an average length of 9ft 8′ and an average weight of 540 pounds, it has the thickest fur and roams the largest territories.
  • The Bengal tiger is found in India and around the Nepal/China border, it is the second largest of the subspecies weighing in at around 480 pounds, and is 9ft 5′ long (average).
  • The Indochinese tiger is found across most of Southeast Asia, it is 8ft 8′ long and weighs in at 380 pounds (average).
  • The South China tiger is found only in Southern China, it is 8ft 1′ long and weighs in at 336 pounds (average).
  • The Sumatran tiger is the smallest remaining subspecies, with an average length of 7ft
  • 8′ and a weight of 250 pounds, this is due to the fact that its small territories are restricted to the Islands of Sumatra.
  • A tiger will circumnavigate its territory every few days.
  • The heaviest recorded tiger was a Siberian weighing in at an amazing 1,025 pounds.
  • The Bengal tiger has the largest population with around 2500. Next is the Indochinese with approximately 1000-1500, then the Sumatran with 500-1000, then the Siberian with 230-400 and last and unfortunately least the South China tiger with around 60-80.
  • It is impossible to count how many tigers are left in the wild but experts estimate there to be less than 3500. Surveys in 1996 indicated then there were over 50,000 (what are we doing?)
  • The tiger’s saliva is antiseptic and comes in handy for cleaning their wounds.
  • An adult wild tiger is a solitary animal and will establish its own territory, which can cover over 100 square miles.
  • A tiger marks its territory by spraying surrounding trees and bushes with urine, dropping prominently placed scat, and leaving deep scratch marks on tree trunks.
  • In the scent of the tigers urine and scat is a code which can only be deciphered by other wild tigers. The message not only acts as a warning to trespasses, but will also supply all the information needed for a would-be mate.
  • A male’s territory can overlap several female’s territories.
  • A tiger will circumnavigate its territory every few days.
  • If you were to shave the fur from a tiger it would still have stripes.
  • Tiger stripes act as perfect camouflage in tall weeds and grasses.
  • The tigers most developed sense is its hearing.
  • A tiger can only usually expect a one in twenty success rate when bringing down prey.
  • Tigers like to feed on pig, deer and buffalo, but will also eat smaller prey such as rabbit and fish.
  • On average a tiger can eat up to 60 pounds of meat at one time.
  • After a feed, a tiger will usually bury the remaining animal carcass in an attempt to hide it from scavengers, and then exhume it for its next meal.
  • A tiger can go two to three days without eating.
  • In a part of India called Sundeban tigers have been known to eat man.
  • To deter these attacks villagers wear masks on the back of their heads as attacks are always from behind.
  • A tiger can spend up to eighteen hours sleeping.
  • Tigers can swim and like to cool down by sitting neck deep in water holes.
  • Tigers reach maturity and are ready for mating at the age of three.
  • A male tiger can copulate up to six times an hour.
  • A female tiger will usually give birth to 2-3 cubs in the wild; unfortunately the fatality rate for cubs can be quite high.
  • The gestation period can range from 102-106 days from time of conception.
  • All tigers typically show a 1:1 sex ratio at birth.
  • Tiger cubs are blind at birth.
  • A tiger cub can gain 100 grams in weight per day.
  • A cub will begin eating solid food at around 12-13 weeks and should be completely weaned around seventeen weeks.
  • Tiger cubs play-fight with their siblings, which enables them to gain strength and speed.
  • It is believed that the two white dots on the back of a tiger’s ears are designed to act as a visual beacon to enable the cubs to follow their parent.
  • A tiger cub will make its first kill around 18 months of age.
  • Tiger cubs can stay with their mother for up to 2-3 years.
  • Male tigers have been known to kill and sometimes eat cubs of other males before taking the tigress as its own mate.
  • All tigers have a similar marking on their forehead, which resembles the Chinese symbol Wang, meaning King.
  • Tigers do not purr.
  • Usually before mating, but also as a sign of affection, tigers make a kind of chuffing sound by expelling air softly through the nostrils.
  • Unlike the domestic cat the tiger’s pupils are round.
  • The tiger’s foot print is known as the pug mark, and its measurement is sometimes the only method of recording wild tigers.
  • Like the domestic cat the tiger’s claws are retractable.
  • There are five toes on a tiger’s forefeet and four on its hind feet.
  • A tiger’s night vision is six times greater than a human’s.
  • A tiger’s canine teeth can grow up to three inches long and would be capable of crunching through the vertebrae of any creature on this earth.
  • Adult tigers have thirty teeth.
  • On average a tiger’s tail is around four feet long or half the length of its body.
  • The tail gives the tiger extra balance when running and is also used to communicate to other tigers.
  • The tendons in a tiger’s leg are so strong that an animal has been known to remain standing after it has been shot dead.
  • The fore limbs of a tiger are more powerful than the hind limbs for grabbing large prey.
  • The South China tiger has the fewest stripes.
  • The fore limbs of a tiger are more powerful than the hind limbs for grabbing large prey.
  • In Chinese, tiger means Wu Lao Hu. In Hindi it means Bagh, Sher. In Indonesian it means Harimau, Macan. In Korean it means Ho Lang-ee. In Vietnamese it means Cop. In Thai and Lao it means Seua. In Nepalese it means Bagh. In Burmese it means Kyar. And, in Malay it means Harimau.
  • Tigers move both legs on one side of the body almost simultaneously when they walk.
  • The South China tiger has a slightly different shaped skull to the other subspecies, its eye sockets are deeper and it has a slight hump on the back of its neck.
  • Most tigers are orange with black stripes and a white underbelly and jowl.
  • A white tiger is not an albino. All white tigers are believed to have descended from a single white Bengal male called Mohan.
  • It is said that the South China tiger is impossible to train many Chinese circuses gave up after trying to implement them into their acts.
  • The Sumatran tiger has the most pronounced ruff around its neck.
  • The tiger is revered in Chinese mythology and is said to have magical powers.
  • The tiger is the third animal in the Chinese zodiac.
  • Yin and Yang is sometimes represented by a Yin tigress and a Yang dragon.
  • It is believed that when a tiger dies its spirit enters the ground and becomes amber.
  • It is also believed in Chinese mythology that the tiger can take human form.
  • The demise of the tiger is due to loss of habitat and the use of tiger parts in traditional Chinese medicines.
  • Every single part of the tiger is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Tiger derivatives have been used in traditional Chinese medicines for over 1000 years.
  • There is not a shred of scientific evidence to back up claims that any of these remedies work.
  • Some traditional Chinese remedies are dangerous.
  • Tiger parts are also used as trophies, trinkets and aids to ward off evil spirits.
  • A tiger eats around six kilos of meat per day, but can go as long as a week without a meal.
  • In Asia illegal tiger farms operate to supply tigers for the traditional Chinese medicine market.
  • In 1959 The Siberian tiger was declared an endangered species and awarded protection.
  • In 1959 The South China tiger was declared a pest and a bounty was placed on its head.
  • In 1959 there were approximately 4000 South China tigers in the wild.
  • Between 1960 and 1984 3000 South China tiger pelts were officially recorded.
  • Many so called tiger activists have given up on the South China tiger.
  • Now the Chinese government is completely dedicated to saving the South China tiger.
  • As the trade for tiger parts has now been forced underground the incentives for poachers have greatly increased, one tiger carcass can mean as much as ten years pay.
  • The main users of illegal animal derivatives are; China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.
  • Tiger powders and potions can be bought all over the USA, Europe and the UK.
  • There are believed to be 120 outlets selling tiger derivatives in Australia alone.
  • Tiger populations are being cut off as their territories shrink and the corridors which join them together are being destroyed.
  • It is estimated that Bengal tigers are still being killed by poachers and villagers at the rate of one per day.
  • In the 1980’s public tiger slaughters were common in Taiwan.
  • A single brewery in Taiwan imported 2,000kg of tiger bone annually during the 1980’s, the equivalent of 100-200 tiger carcasses, to produce 100,000 bottles of tiger wine.
  • We could lose the wild tiger in as little as five years’ time.
  • The tiger has only one predator…MAN!
  • A group of tigers is called a Streak.
  • There were believed to be 100,000 wild tigers at the beginning of the last century.
  • There are twice as many captive tigers in the USA than there are anywhere in the wild.
  • The tiger’s stripes form what is called disruptive camouflage, which is an illusion that appears to change their shape and blend them into their surroundings.
  • A tiger is Diurnal, which means its peak times of activity are dawn and dusk.
  • Approximately fifty humans are killed by tigers each year.
  • The Tiger Chase is the first novel written about the South China tiger.
  • There are now more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild.