INTERESTING TIGER FACTS:
*The scientific name for tigers is Panthera Tigris - Protection status: Critically Endangered
*Over the last 100 years, hunting and forest destruction have reduced tiger populations 95% from hundreds of thousands of animals to perhaps fewer than 3,200.
*Tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned for their power and strength, weighing in between 400-675 pounds.
*India has the largest number of tigers, estimated between 1,700 tigers. Worldwide it is estimated that only around 3,500 tigers now remain in the wild.
*Tigers are the largest of all the Asian big cats, at the top the food chain, and are one of the most culturally important and beautiful animals on this planet. However, they are also among the world's most vulnerable and threatened species.
*Three tiger subspecies - the Bali, Javan, and Caspian - have become extinct in the past 70 years. The six remaining subspecies - Amur, Royal Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, South China, and Sumatran - live only in Asia, and all are endangered.
*The largest of the 6 remaining species is the Siberian (Amur) Tiger.
*Historic tiger range ran from Turkey through South and Southeast Asia to the far eastern shores of the continent. Today, they are only found in South and Southeast Asia, China and the Russian Far East.
*Tigers mainly eat ambar deer, wild pigs, water buffalo and antelope. Tigers are also known to hunt sloth bears, dogs, leopards, crocodiles and pythons as well as monkeys and hares. Old and injured tigers have been known to attack humans and domestic cattle.
*Tigers live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories of several miles to keep their rivals away.
*Despite their fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans; a few do become dangerous maneaters.
*Females give birth to litters of two to six cubs, which they raise with little or no help from the male.
*Cubs cannot hunt until they are 18 months old and remain with their mothers for two to three years.
*A hungry tiger can eat as much as 60 pounds (27 kilograms) in one night, though they usually eat less.
*The average life span in the wild is 8-10 years and up to 20 years in captivity.
*Most tigers have more than 100 stripes. The stripes are like fingerprints and no two tigers have the same pattern.
*Just like the domestic housecat, tigers keep their claws sharp for hunting by pulling in their retractable claws into a protective sheath.
*A tigers' night vision is six times better than that of humans.
*Tigers essentially live solitary lives, except during mating season and when females bear young. They are usually fiercely territorial and have and mark their large home ranges.
*The tail of a full-grown tigers weighs around 25 pounds.
*Most tigers have more than 100 stripes, which are pigmentation marks on the skin. Like fingerprints, no two patterns are the same. If you shave off all the tiger's fur the dark stripes still remain in its skin.
*A tiger's canine teeth are about as long as an adult's middle finger; approximately 3-3 1/2 inches.
*Bengal tigers are the largest live in India and are sometimes called Indian tigers. They are the most common tiger and number about half of all wild tigers. The Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the sub-species.
*Over many centuries they have become an important part of Indian tradition and lore.
*Tigers are mostly nocturnal (more active at night) and are ambush predators that rely on the camouflage their stripes provide. *They travel many miles to find buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals.
*Tigers use their body weight to knock prey to the ground and kills with a bite to the neck. They are also very good swimmers and have been known to kill prey while swimming.
*They are illegally killed or poached because their pelts are valuable in the black market trade, their body parts are used in traditional Asian medicines and they are seen as threats to human communities.
*There is large scale habitat loss due to human population growth and expansion. Human encroachment into tiger habitat also decreases prey animals.
*A tiger's paw prints are called "pug marks".
*As climate change continues to warm the planet, tigers are feeling the heat. As we see ocean levels rise, tigers are losing habitat due to costal erosion in areas like India's Sundarban islands.