not the ancestors of today’s tigers. In fact, sabre-tooth tigers belonged to a separate
branch of cat evolution which became extinct many millions of years ago.
still exist in the wild (Tilson ,1995). About 490 captive Siberian tigers a re managed in
zoo conservation programs (Tilson, 1995).
They are found in central and eastern China. It is estimated that only 20-30 South China
tigers are left in the wild (Dang ,1994). Currently 48 South China tigers live in 19 zoos,
all in China (Dang ,1994).
1,180- 1,790 Indochines tigers are left in the wild and about 60 live in zoos (Tilson, 1995).
and Myanmar. The estimated wild population is approzimately 3,060- 4,735 tigers, with
about 333 in captivity, primarily in zoos in India (Dang, 1994).
subspecies of tiger, and they are no albinos. They have blue eyes, a pink nose, and creamy
todayt they can only be seen in zoos.
400-500 wild Sumatran tigers are believed to exist, primarily inthe island’s five national
parks (Dang, 1994). Another 235 Simatran tigers live in zoos around the world (Dang,
Three tiger subspecies have been considered to become extinct in the past 70 years
went extinct in the 1950’s (Tilson, 1995). The Javan tiger, Panthera tigris sondaica,
formerly ranged on the Indonesian island of Java and was last seen in 1972 (Tilson, 1995).
The Bali tiger, Panthera tigris balica, once lived on Bali, where the last tiger was believed
to have been killed in 1937 (Tilson, 1995).
territories in areas with enough prey, cover and water to support them. The hardship of
fend for themselves (Dang ,1994). The territory of a tiger usually ranges in size from
about 10 to 30 square miles, although the territory of a Siberian tiger may be as large as
120 square miles (Tilson, 1995). Both male and female tigers spray bushes and trees
along their route with amixture of urine and scent gland secretions. This is a way of
in prominent places.
Female tigers reach maturity when they area bout 3 years old and males reach it
when they are a year or so later (Dang, 1994). In temperate climates, a tigress comes into
heat only seasonally , but in tropical climates, she may come int heat throughtout the year.
She signals her readiness with scent marking and locating roars. The brief act of
copulaiton occurs continually for a five day period. Tigers are induced ovulators, and
must be stimualted through frequent copulation in order to become pregnant. To
stimulate ovulation the male tiger’s penis has spines. This explains in part why the female
roars and lashes out at the male immediately following copulation.
After mating, the period for tigers is about 103 days (Tilson, 1995). The average
litter size of tigers is 2 or 3 cubs (Tilson, 1995). One usually dies at birth. Tiger cubs are
born blind and weigh only about 2 to 3 pounds (Tilson, 1995). They live on their mother’s
milk for 6-8 weeks before the female begins taking them to kill in order to feed (Tilson,
1995). They start making their kills within 18 months of age (Tilson, 1995). Young tigers
leave their mother’s range at anywhere from a year and a half to three years of age,
mother’s range than males.
Over much of the tiger’s broad geographic range, wild pig, wild cattle and several
species of deer are its major prey. All prey are forest or grassland ungulates that range in
size from 65 to 2,000 pounds (Tilson, 1995). Tigers are ambush hunters, stalking their
prey, appproaching as closely as possible. When they are close enough they charge the
animal. They bite the neck or throat of their prey. The neck bite, which affects the spinal
cord, is typically used on small or medium sized prey. The throat bite that causes
suffocation is used on larger animals. After killing their prey, tigers drag the animal to a
safe place so that no one else eats it. They usually carry their prey in high trees.
Typically, wild tigers go wild on fresh kills, and can eat as much as 40 pounds of meat at
one time (Dang, 1994). Several days may pass before they are hungry enough to hunt
Although tiger attacks on humans are unusual, they do sometimes occur. Because
where tigers live. This causes increasing conflicts between tigers and human. It is thought
that most tigers who eat humans are sick or injured and unanble to kill their prey. Once
they have acquired a taste for human beings, they will keep eating humans. While man-
one lives in the magrove forests and swamps of the Sunderbans. The Sunderban tigers
year. Several different have been used to combat man-eating tigers in the Sunderbans.
One method uses human dummies fitted with electric wires from car batteries. This
method administers a shock when touched by a tiger. Another method uses a simple mask
of a human face which arw worn on back of your head. This effectively made both sides
of the wearer appear to be the front. This method is used because tigers usually attack
from the behind. While this method seemed to work for several years, the Sunderban
tigers have discovered the trick.
In no further discussion, tigers are very interesting to learn about. Tigers may be
dangerous if you invade their territory. Tigers can be found in open areas and zoos . If
you want to see tigers you should go to a zoo. Tigers are becoming extinct because we
are invading their territories and we should protect them from going extinct because they
are fascinating creatures.