Like most of the animal lovers around the world my love for tigers is quite prominent. Whenever I visited te zoo during my childhood I had always loved to see the tigers first and then the rests. Their majestic gesture and the exceptional valor of carrying themselves have always enticed me. Even today whenever I can scoop time out of my busy schedule, I try to sit back on my couch with the information about tigers that I've gathered. I thought of sharing some of those precious information about tigers - largest members of the cat family.
My unflagging inquisitiveness to learn more about tigers led me to look for the different subspecies of the beast. I learned that there were as many as eight distinctive subspecies of tiger; however three of them became extinct during the 20th century. Over the last century, hunting and wanton de-forest have desperately reduced the Indian tiger population to a handful numbers of 2500 only and as many as 6000 all over the world. Many of them have been killed for many reasons, one of which is that fact that some of the body parts of tigers – especially bones hane been traditionally used in making certain Chinese medicines. This is the reason that the remaining five subspecies of tiger are in threat of extinction. Bengal tigers – commonly known as Indian tigers comprises almost 50% of the overall tiger population of the world.
Here are some fast facts about tigers that I could gather from varied sources:
- Amongst all the tiger subspecies the Siberian Tiger is the largest variety and can weigh up to around eight hundred pounds.
- The Bengal tiger or Indian tiger is the second largest variety of the tiger subspecies, which is approximately 9ft 5' long, weighing around 480 pounds.
- The Sumatran tiger is the smallest existing subspecies, that has an average length of 7ft 8', weighing around 250 pounds.
- The heaviest tiger ever recorded was a Siberian tiger, who weighed 1,025 pounds. I wonder how much he used to eat a day!!!!
- Each single stripe of a tiger is a unique mark – no two stripe patterns are identical, which often help the authorities to identify individual tigers in the wild.
- Tigers are solitary cats that are most active between dusk and dawn. That means they are noctornal hunters.
- The night vision is aproximately 6 times that of the human beings.
- Although tigers are not natural man eaters, yet some of them turn to be the most notorious killers of human due to old age or severe wonds that might constraint them from hunting faster beasts. An Indian tigress called Champawat became the queen of terror by killing 436 people before she was fired to death by Mr. Jim Corbett in 1907. Champawat was allegedly responsible for claiming such an incredibly huge number of lives in Mepal and Kumaon region of India.
- This terror queen – Champawat killed a 16 year old girl on the day Mr Corbett bagged her to death.
- After Champawat's death, she had been post-mortem and the result showed that the upper and lower canine teeth on the right side of her jaw were broken, which created her a problem to tear hard flesh on wild beasts. This was the reason that she turned man eater.
- The tendons in the tigers' legs are so strong that they are known to keep standing form seconds even after shooting.
- A tiger banks mostly on stealth and strength instead of speed while preying.
- An adult male tiger in the wild requires more than 5 to 7 kilograms of meat per day.
- The auditory perception is the strongest of all senses of a tiger.
- The largest population of man eater tigers is in Sundarvan in India.
- Tigers reaches maturity at the age of three years.
- In the wild a male tiger can copulate up to as manyas 6 times an hour.
- Females can bear up to 2 to 3 cubs each time.
- The gestation period usually ranges from 102 to 106 days.
- The cubs start eating solid food at the age of 12 to 13 weeks of age.
- The cubs starts their first killings at the age of around 18 months.