Scientific name Panthera tigris
The tiger is the biggest wild feline and one of the biggest carnivores in the world. It’s also the only one with a striped coat. The species is made up of nine sub-species that feature minor differences in size or behaviour.
The tiger is an excellent swimmer. It can easily cross waterways that are 6 to 8 kilometres wide. The record is held by a Sumatran tiger that crossed a 29-km-wide sound.
Did you know?
In 2008, in Bhutan, footprints and photographs of tigers showed that this predator can be found between 3,700 and 4,300 meters. Previously it was thought that tigers couldn't be found beyond 3,000 meters. It could be that tigers have always lived at these heights but they had just never before been observed.
- Diet: 6 kg of meat per day and up to 14 to 40 kg of meat at a time!
- Its claws can measure up to 10 cm long!
- Maximum speed: 50 km/h
- Gestation period: almost 100 days with 2 or 3 offspring per litter
- Life expectancy: 25 years in captivity and 15 years in the wild
Keep up hope
Zoos working together in European breeding programs (EEP)
In order to keep the species alive over the long term, zoos are working together to maintain genetic variability of captive specimens. The Siberian and Sumatran tigers are the object of a European breeding program (EEP).
These two sub-species, along with the Indochinese sub-species, are also part of an American program for endangered species (SSP).
The tiger reproduces very well in captivity. It's likely that there are more tigers in captivity than wild tigers, if we count the tigers produced by hybridisation between subspecies.