Tiger Facts



  • At over 3 m long and weighing up to 360 kg, the rare Siberian tiger is the largest living member of the cat family. Tigers originated in Siberia.
  • Tigers need a very large hunting area, and males in northern India often patrol an area of 130 sq km or more.
  • After feeding, tigers sometimes save the remains of a kill for a later meal, burying it under branches to hide it from scavengers or other tigers.
  • In 1945 there were only 50 Siberian tigers left in the wild; now there are 300 to 400 surviving in reserves.
  • Aggressive tigers flash the distinctive white spots on their ears as a warning.
  • In India and Bangladesh, in the Sunderbans mangrove swamps, tigers keep cool in the water and ambush pigs, deer and monkeys.
  • In the early 1900s there were probably at least 50,000 tigers; now numbers have fallen to 6000 or less, half of them living in India.
  • To keep out the cold, the Siberian tiger has an outer coat of long, pale fur over a thick undercoat. The tiger uses its long canine teeth to bite the throat or neck of its prey as it brings it to the ground. Its sharp-edged rear teeth cut through the meat by sliding against each other like scissors.
  • A tiger’s stripes provide it with camouflage as it hunts in the tall grasses by day. But tigers also hunt at night — their night vision is at least 6 times more acute than a human’s.
  • Tiger cubs depend entirely on their mothers for food until they are about 18 months old, when they begin to make their own first kills.
  • Tigers eat a variety of foods, ranging from fish and turtles during times of flood to locusts during locust swarms.