Awely des tigres et des hommes Tigers and People

12 interesting facts about tigers

13 November 2015

1) The tiger has a top speed of 50 km/h, but over short distances. In addition, it travels several dozens of kilometres to find a prey.

2) The feline is a superpredator, which needs to kill between 50 and 60 medium-sized prey per year to survive and reproduce. It can eat up to 30 kg of meat in one sitting and usually starts by devouring the rump of its victim.

3) During the night, it hunts and marks its territory. It moves through the forest and leaves tracks as it passes to indicate its presence (odours, faeces, claw marks on trees…).

4) The tiger is a solitary animal. It doesn’t usually share its living area with individuals of the same gender; each male has a territory that covers those of several females.

5) After a gestation period of from 95 to 107 days, the tigress delivers between one and six cubs (two or three on average) in an isolated area. They stay close to their mother until the age of 18 to 36 months, in order to learn to hunt.

6) It’s not in the big cat’s nature to hunt people, but this can happen due to steep reductions in the animal’s habitat, declining numbers of available prey, and increasingly frequent contact with human populations.

7) According to estimates, tigers are responsible for the deaths of 10 to 100 people each year. By comparison, it’s thought that jellyfish cause the death of 100 people per year; dogs, 25,000; snakes, 100,000; and mosquitoes, 2,000,000.

8) The unique patterns composed by the feline’s stripes allow us to identify specific animals in the wild. Much like with human fingerprints, no two tigers present exactly the same markings on their coat.

9) The white tiger is, in reality, a Bengal tiger that has a genetic mutation, which is responsible for their white fur, brown or black stripes, and blue eyes. The last wild individual was seen in 1958, and was killed in the same year. It is understood that all captive specimens are descendants of one single white tiger that was captured in 1951.

10) Recent genetic analyses – still in discussion within the international scientific community – propose a reclassification of tigers as 2 subspecies, rather than the 9 subspecies that are currently recognised.

11) In China, sale of the feline’s body parts is forbidden. Nevertheless, selling parts from individuals that have died from “natural” causes is permitted. These are destined for use in Asian traditional medicine, as a remedy for illnesses in humans.

12) To prevent the total disappearance of tigers in the wild, the best thing to do is to support those who work in the field to protect them. Your donations will enable us to further our actions for the species in Nepal, in India, in Bangladesh and in Vietnam.

Thank you for your generosity.

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