Tigers fascinating creatures
Tigers are found only in Asia. There were 1000,000 tigers at the start of the 20th century. But their numbers dwindled tremendously because they ere hunted for sport. Today, there are as few as, 5,000 tigers left in the world.
There are eight different tiger species. Three of them, the Balinese, the Javan, and the Caspian tigers are extinct. The Sumatran tiger is critically endangered. There are less than 80 South China tigers, 1500 indo-Chinese tigers, and 200 Siberian tigers. The Indian tiger is the most common but still endangered.
In the mangrove forests of the Sunderbans, the tiger lives mostly in water, sometimes swimming up to 8 km a day from one island to another. The tigers in this area feed on game, but also on fish and turtles. The Sunderbans is the largest tiger sanctuary in the world. The tigers in this are man-eating, thus, making life dangerous for the local people.
Unlike other big cats, tigers are good swimmers. They like to bathe in water to stay cool. They often reverse slowly into water to keep their faces from getting wet.
The tiger (panther Tigris) is the biggest of the big cats. A fully grown tiger can be more than 3m (10ft) from nose to tail. A large male tiger can weigh an average of 200 kg, and a tigress an average of 150 kg. The Siberian tiger is the biggest of all tigers, and can weigh over 300 kg.
A tiger always hunts alone. It does not chase its prey but stalk it. Tigers use their eyes and ears, not so much their nose, to hunt.
A tiger usually kills animals the size of a deer once a week, and feeds on 50-80 kg of meat. This keeps it going for a few days. Tigers eat whatever they can catch, including deer, goats, wild pigs, sometimes monkeys and peacocks. Tigers drag their prey close to water because they like to drink water as they eat.
A tiger’s stripes make it hard to see, especially in tall grass. The stripes make very good camouflage; it helps the tiger hunt as well as stay safe from enemies.
White tigers are not a separate species but are born along with cubs’ regular coloring. They are the result of gene mutation.
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