Bengal Tiger
Panthera tigris tigris

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Carnivora
FAMILY: Felidae

SIZE:
Up to 550 lbs. The average length is 9 to 9.5 feet.

RANGE:
Nepal, Burma, parts of India, and Bangladesh

HABITAT:
Forests

DIET:
Wild - Large mammals such as pigs, deer, antelope, buffalo and gaur. Smaller mammals and birds are rarely taken

Zoo - Feline diet (primarily ground horsemeat)

FACTS:

  • Tigers are one of few cats that love water. Tigers can swim well, easily crossing rivers.
  • Tigers can adapt to many different habitats. Tigers usually do not climb trees but are capable of doing so.
  • Mainly nocturnal, but may be active in daylight.
  • To hunt the tiger depends more on sight and hearing than smell. It carefully stalks its prey, attacks from the side or rear, leaps on prey and throws it down grabbing the throat. Killing is by strangulation or a bite to the back of the neck.
  • Tigers are essentially solitary, except for courting pairs and females with young.
  • Roaring seems to be an attraction of the opposite sex. Other vocalizations include purrs and chuffs. A tiger communicates by marking with urine, feces and scratches.

YOUNG:

  • Usually 2 - 3; can be as many as 6.
  • Gestation 104 - 106 day. Gives birth every 2 - 2.5 years.
  • Young are capable of hunting on their own by 11 months of age.

LIFE SPAN:
About half of all cubs do not survive more than two years. Maximum longevity is 26 years in both the wild and captivity.

STATUS:

  • ENDANGERED -- The tiger has probably been responsible for more human deaths through direct attack, than has any other wild mammal.
  • Because it is considered to be a threat to human life and domestic livestock, and also because it is valued as a big game trophy, it has been relentlessly hunted, trapped, and poisoned.
  • Tigers are also poached for their skins and for parts thought to have medicinal and spiritual value.
  • Perhaps the greatest threat to the tiger is the destruction of its habitat.
  • The Bengal tiger is one of only 6 species remaining.

WHITE TIGERS:
White tigers have white fur with brownish/black stripes and blue eyes. They are not albinos. The white coloration occurs when the recessive gene is present in the mating male and female.

White tigers in U.S. zoos are the direct decendants of Mohan, the tiger cub discovered by the Maharaja of Rewa (India) during a hunt.

The range of the white tigers in the wild is Nepal, Burma, parts of India and Bangladesh in areas of mangrove forests. It is not likely one would be spotted in the wild due to the very low probability of two tigers with the recessive gene, meeting, mating and having offspring.