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Tiger facts



VIDEO: Tiger vs Lion - ultimate killer vs the ultimate warrior

Tiger vs Lion - ultimate killer vs the ultimate warrior.

Lions, tigers and bears are 'designing' jeans in Japan

A zoo in Japan is employing animals to produce its own range of distressed jeans. Ripped jeans – one of fashion’s most enduring trends – are usually created by machine (or at home with a razor if you’re into DIY) but now the Mineko Club, a volunteer group, are wrapping denim around tyres, rubber balls and planks of wood and using them to entertain the lions, tigers and bears at the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City.

The end result, once the minders fetch the giant chew toys from the dens, is metres of trashed, ripped, bitten and clawed fabric which is then sewn together and sold as "Zoo Jeans". They are similar in style to Acne's pop-trash look from 2012, or something Bon Jovi wore in their heyday.

So far the team has only manufactured three pairs and put them up for auction. The funds raised go towards conservation charities.

With just a few hours remaining on the eBay type auction, “Zoo Jeans designed by Tigers” were the most popular, attracting a top bid of more than $1260. The efforts by the lions and bears looked set to sell for more than $525 each.


VIDEO: Tigers love water

Tigers may love water, but they do not like to get it in their eyes and will frequently enter backwards to ensure this doesn't happen. When emerging they'll often shake like a dog to remove the worst of the water from their coats.
Bengal tigers love water and can spend hour after hour in it swimming and playing where as amur tigers like water but are more of a quick dip to cool off.

PHOTO: Tigers and water

Unlike many other animals, tigers do not drink water by lapping it up on the top of their tongue, due to their tongue bristles. Instead, they cup the back of their tongue to flick water droplets into the air, which they then close their mouth over.

The white tiger entertains crowds with his swimming capabilities. With eyes wide open and ears pulled back, the big cat freely jumps into a pool of water and dives to the bottom.

5 ways we can save our tigers

Majestic, fierce, mystical, these are all words we can use to describe tigers. This wonderful animal means different things to different people, but the one thing we cannot disagree on is that tigers are in real danger of extinction unless we can do something to halt the decline in their numbers.

Here are 5 ways we can help save our tigers; some we can do every day, others need us to come together and campaign to the authorities.

Create awareness of the plight of the tiger – Tigers cannot speak up for themselves but we can speak for them. Make posters, organise tiger themed events, chat to your family and friends and anything else you can think of to spread the word about how endangered tigers really are.

Help end poaching – The trade in tiger skin and body parts is not only illegal but it is having a devastating impact on tiger numbers. We can help prevent this barbaric trade by avoiding products derived from tigers and reporting any such products to local authorities.

Severe punishment for poachers – More and more countries are punishing poachers but more is still needed to really deter people from engaging in tiger poaching. Through campaigning we can encourage authorities to hand down harsher sentences to convicted poachers.

Protect tiger habitat – One of the main factors in the decline of the tiger is habitat destruction. Through education and campaigning we can help promote sustainable working practices to ensure we harness the full potential of the forests while also ensuring tigers and their prey animals are free to enjoy as large a range as possible.

Support Tiger conservation organisations – Many zoos and wildlife charities work tirelessly to conserve tigers, but they cannot do it without our help. Schemes such as the tiger adoption scheme provide a way for us to donate money to an excellent cause while receiving a fantastic gift pack in return. This gift pack can help you create awareness among your family and friends or be given as a wonderful gift to a loved one.

Siberian Tiger

Residing in the Conifer and Broadleaf forests east of the Amur River, the Siberian Tigers are solitary cats that enjoy a relatively undisturbed ecosystem devoid in large parts of human activity. Occupying huge territories of up to four thousand square miles, these Amur Tigers are often on the move, covering large distances in search of prey in their isolated wilderness. One Siberian Tiger was once recorded to cover over six hundred miles in the space of three weeks in search of food. The great cat hunts a variety of animals including moose, roe deer, sika deer, musk deer and goral, though red deer and wild boar form the bulk of its diet.

Opportunistic predators, the tigers are known to take even rabbits, hares, pikas and fish (usually salmon) at times. The undisputed king of carnivora, the Siberian Tiger spares not even the Great Russian Brown Bear from its predatory activities. The cats pull out the bears while they are hibernating and attack and kill them. At other times, brown bear kills have been recorded in the open, displaying the superiority of the tiger over the bear as the apex predator on land. The Asiatic black bears are not given any respite by a hungry tiger either. The cunning cat is known to imitate black bear sounds to attract and hunt them.

Even resilient pack animals such as wolves have been nearly exterminated by the tigers. A stalk and ambush predator, the Amur Tiger despite its great power still only succeeds in ten to fifteen percent of hunting attempts. The cat prefers to creep up to ten to twenty five meters of the prey animal before rushing and pouncing upon it, moving at speeds of up to 80 km/hr in its charge. Smaller prey animals are killed by a bite on the nape of neck that breaks the vertebrae and severs the spinal cord. Larger game is brought down by a bite on front of the neck that crushes the windpipe and suffocates the prey. Needing around twenty pounds of meat daily to survive in the wild, the tiger can consume about sixty to hundred pounds in one setting. The kill is often cached, usually near a water body and the cat has been known to return to carcasses to complete its feed.

The Siberian Tiger inhabits the Boreal forests in Far Eastern Asia, residing largely in Russia but also reported in China and North Korea. Panthera Tigris Altaica, it is seen largely in the Amur-Ussuri region of Primorsky and Khabarovsky Krai. Its range has shrunk drastically in the past hundred years and is now a mere fraction of its past domain.

The tigers are known to mate at any time during the year. The receptive female advertises her presence by leaving urine and scratch markings on trees. She is in estrus typically for three to seven days during which the pair mates several times. Like all big cats, the courting individuals focus less on hunting during this time and are particularly hostile to any intruders. Up to six cubs are born after a pregnancy lasting between three to three and a half months, though three to four is the average litter size. Blind and helpless they are sheltered in a den by the ever watchful mother who seldom leaves them during the early weeks, going out only for hunting. The young open their eyes at two weeks and begin to venture outside at around three months. They are weaned off at around six months and begin to accompany their mother at her hunting trips at this age. Small prey is successfully taken down by the cubs at less than one year of age, and large prey at twice that age. They stay with their mother at up until three to five years of age after which they begin to venture and establish their territories and fend for themselves. Males generally move farther away from their realm, making them easier targets for poachers. As a result adult male tigers are outnumbered by females three to one on average. Lifespan is known to be up to twenty five years.

Amur Tigers were freely hunted in the early part of this century, bringing them to near extinction in most territories. In 1947 hunting was outlawed in the former Soviet Union. Still the tiger continued to suffer at the hands of poachers who made heavy profits by selling the body parts to Chinese traditional medicine makers, earning up to fifty thousand dollars with one tiger. The collapse of Soviet Union accompanied with the breakdown of law and order infrastructure had a particularly adverse impact on the tiger population whereby nearly sixty tigers were reputedly killed yearly by poachers in the few years following 1989. In 1992, The Siberian Tiger Project was founded. This marked the beginning of a turn around in the fate of tiger. In 1993, Chinese Government declared the use of tiger parts for medicinal purposes to be illegal.

In the following years, vigilant monitoring and study resulted in the stabilization of tiger numbers in the wild. Regular patrols were undertaken to deter the poachers and individual tigers were studied to better understand the subspecies and reduce its mortality in its natural habitat. Another successful step was launching of Operation Amba in Russia that continues to protect the Siberian Tigers through collaboration of law enforcement agencies and interaction with local people. Its mission is to neutralize tiger traders and attack and eliminate poaching rings. It has been largely successful in seizing many poaching materials and saving a number of tiger cubs. As a result of these tireless efforts of forest rangers and scientists, today the population of Siberian Tigers in the wild is believed to be around five hundred individuals and this is merely the number in Russia. In fact the Siberian Tiger is the only tiger subspecies whose population is believed to be on the increase. The impressive recovery of the Siberian Tiger is often used as a model plan to save other species.

The 6 Tiger subspecies

The very mention of the word "tiger" is enough to conjure up images of huge, striped cats stalking their prey through dense vegetation before launching a powerful and deadly attack. For many of us these images are a result of hundreds of years of stories, and more recently videos. Tigers are found across a huge area but the populations are becoming more and more isolated, but still six subspecies of this magnificent animal remain.

Extinct Subspecies of Tiger

There were once nine known subspecies of tiger but ruthless hunting and habitat destruction throughout the 20th Century saw three of these disappear forever. The first to become extinct was the Bali tiger and the last recorded animal to be killed was a female, shot in 1937, however it is believed some may have survived into the 1940's. The second species to become extinct was the Caspian Tiger found throughout The Middle East from Uzbekistan to Iran and Iraq. It is believed this animal became extinct in the 1950's though there have been several apparent sightings of the animal since then. Finally in the 1980's the Javan Tiger became extinct as a result of severe hunting and habitat destruction. The last confirmed sighting was in 1979 but reports still surfaced as late as the 1990's.

It is a tragedy that these magnificent big cats have been lost forever, but if action isn't taken the remaining six subspecies face the same prospects.

The Six Remaining Tiger Subspecies.

The most common subspecies of the genus Panthera is the Bengal Tiger, which is the tiger most people are familiar with. It lives primarily in the grasslands and subtropical rainforests of India and Bangladesh however there are a number of animals found in Nepal. Despite increased protection, poachers continue to wreak havoc among the populations of Bengal Tigers, pushing the species to the very brink of extinction.

The Northernmost species of tiger is the Siberian or Amur Tiger, which is found exclusively in the Amur-Ussuri region in Eastern Siberia. This cat is superbly adapted to life in the harsh Siberian wilderness with it's thick coat. This is the largest Subspecies of Tiger and a six month old cub can be as big as a fully grown leopard. Again this subspecies is endangered as a result of human activity.

The most critically endangered subspecies is the South China Tiger, which is listed as one of the 10 most endangered animals anywhere on Earth. There are known to be just 59 in Captivity but the genetic viability of the species is in doubt as all 59 animals are descended from just six. However conservationists are working hard to reintroduce them back to the wild.

The smallest of tigers is the Sumatran Tiger which inhabits the dense forests of the Island of Sumatra. Numbers are so low that between 1998 and 2000 66 tigers were shot and this accounted for a huge 20% of the total population. This has lead to calls for the Sumatran tiger to be afforded greater priority for conservation than any of the other subspecies.

Finally, the Malayan Tiger, is the second smallest subspecies and is found exclusively on the Southern edge of the Malayan Peninsula. This subspecies was not recognised until 2004 after a study by Scientists from the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity. Reports suggest there are around 700 left in the wild and even with such small numbers this is the 3rd largest population of tigers in the world.

A Species In Danger

The entire species of tiger is endangered, largely as a result of Human activity. We have already lost three subspecies of this amazing animal and we face losing the remaining six in the near future. You can get involved in helping save them, by adopting a tiger. This is a wonderful gift for anyone but it is made more remarkable by the fact that is really will help the conservation effort to save one of the world's most amazing creatures.