the TIGER

Day in the Life

The tiger is a solitary animal that can take down small and large prey. Similar to other cat species they communicate through vocalizations (roars, chuffing, and moaning). The tiger is the largest, most recognizable cat species, easily identified by its pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish orange fur.

Diet and Hunting Patterns

Tigers are solitary animals that can be found in the wild and in captivity. Their diet consists of small animals such as turtles and frogs as well as large animals such as buffalo and large deer. They tend to hunt alone and stalk their prey at night. The tiger sneaks as close as possible to the unsuspecting animal then attacks. They can consume up to 60-88 pounds of meat a day, but mostly consume 12 pounds per meal. It can even take a few days for the tiger to finish eating their kill.

Tiger stalking and killing deer in wild

Communication and Behavior

Since tigers are solitary creatures, they have to utilize different roars to communicate. A tiger's roar can be heard from as far as two miles away and is used when taking down large prey, signaling sexual receptivity, and females calling to their young. Chuffing generally consists of a soft "brrr" sound and is primarily used for greetings between tigers at close range. Moaning vocalizations are described as a subdued roar made while tigers are calmly walking with their heads in a downward position. Visit this site to hear sound clips of each of these sounds. Tigers also use their tails to communicate to one another. A tiger is relaxed if its tail is loosely hanging and aggressive when its tail is moving rapidly from side to side or twitching.

Mating and Family Life

Tigers come together to mate and then go their separate ways. A female tiger may have two to three cubs survive in the wild and up to six cubs in captivity. The female tiger raises the cubs on her own. Tigers gain independence at two years of age.

Mother and her cub Mother and Cub

Enrichment In Wild

Some typical behavior for tigers in the wild is to rest during the day and be more active at night. Grooming is also an important part of their day because their coat allows them to have built in camouflage in their natural habitats of rainforests, swamps, grasslands, and savannas. And like some other cats, tigers enjoy the water. They swim well and often soak in streams or pools of water to cool off.

Tigers at a pond Tigers relaxing in the water

Enrichment In Captivity

Zookeepers and private owners provide different types of enrichment to stimulate all the senses and encourage a wide range of natural behaviors. For example, they build ponds so that the tiger can cool off in it on a hot day. They also build perches, ledges, and enclosures for the tigers so they can sun themselves on a warm day, or rest in the enclosures without being disturbed. Another way zookeepers and private owners provide enrichment is through novel objects that can be manipulated in some way with the tiger's appendages.

Tiger enrichment Tiger's environmental enrichment