Ever wondered what tigers eat? Let us tell you some amazing facts about the dietary habits of these furious animals. Carnivores by nature, the primary diet of tigers is flesh as well as some particular forms of animal fats. Tigers are considered some of the world’s most furious and deadly hunters; however, they are not really good at hunting when it comes to a horde of livestock, and any such endeavors by them often result in tigers getting ambushed. This is the key reason tigers favor hunting when their kill is away from their horde. Tigers have no bias towards the age of their prey; their prime objective is satisfying their appetite. However, the most popular prey of tigers include boar, deer, buffalo, monkeys, antelopes, and young elephants, as well as numerous other forms of livestock. In times of shortage of food, tigers are known to eat certain forms of fish, lizards, red crabs, toads, and, in desperate times, berries as well. Tigers rarely attack humans; however, if they come across an ill, aged, or frail human, they are highly likely to attack them. This is especially true for some deadly species of tigers, like the Indian and Siberian species.
What do tigers eat? A tiger’s diet largely depends on the area they reside in
- Siberian species: Their most preferred diet is wild board as well as Manchurian wapitis; however, they largely prey on numerous forms of deer like roes, musks, moose, and sikas.
- The Caspian species is considered one of the most acutely endangered species of tiger. They usually consume larger animals like camels, yaks, horses, saiga antelopes, and Caucasian wisents.
- The Sumatran species: They are known to hunt largely for various species of deer, including Malayan tapirs, muntjacs, boars, and sambars.
- Bengal species: These tigers usually hunt for livestock like deer, or the native barasingas, buffalo, chital, gaurs, several species of boars, as well as neelgai.
Nurturing Tigers In An Artificial Environment
When in captivity, for instance, in a zoo or artificial sanctuary, animal diet professionals should not merely know what do tigers eat, they should know the complete dietary habits of the species of tigers they are dealing with in order to guarantee that these predatory animals get the right food at the right time and in the right manner. It is advisable to amass some protein-rich foods for tigers that are largely meat and certain types of fat. Tigers also often need numerous vitamins that include vitamin B and, more importantly, vitamin A, as well as niacin and minerals like calcium. One can source food for their pet tigers from various animal stores that stock meat from a health horse or beef as frozen and canned food, but the best practice is to source a tiger’s diet from your nearest slaughter house as it will ensure that they get fresh meat, just like they do when they hunt in a jungle. To ensure a tiger’s oral fitness, it is advisable to feed them meat bones. Make sure to feed the predators twice or three times daily to ensure a stable diet pattern.
A Word For Those Unfamiliar With These Cats
Tigers (panther tigers) are the biggest among all the four big cats and also among those that have always captured the fascination of people throughout the world.
This majestic animal is a fierce predator, boasting a calculated intelligence that enables them to rule their place of inhabitance. Tigers have managed to successfully evolve from prehistoric tigers for more than 2 million years while continually adapting their bodies and habits exceptionally well to their surroundings.
Usually, it is not hard to recognize a tiger thanks to its catchy stripes all over its body. Their white and black stripes form a very intriguing and unique pattern, which, in addition to looking majestic, lends them the ability to camouflage amongst the shadows of the thick and long grass found in their habitats.
This interesting, majestic predator is extremely ferocious in its modus operandi of hunting. Yet, tigers do not necessarily always make the kill as one would generally expect them to. The moment they get a glimpse of their prey, they usually only have a jiffy to follow, pounce on, and kill it, mainly by biting it on the neck. A healthy tiger can take down animals much larger and more powerful than itself.
In contrast with lions, who walk and hunt in groups, tigers are extreme loners and never hunt in groups. However, tigers do share their prey with other members of their family or tribe, a characteristic that hints at their strong communication with each other on all levels of life. A tiger can leap more than 30 feet in one step alone, which gives them a huge edge over most of their prey.
As explained earlier, tigers are largely loners, except during the time when they intend to mate with each other. This is a very lengthy procedure as well and usually occurs around 16 weeks after conception. A tiger’s cub is born blind, and the female tiger needs to feed them milk for more than 8 weeks before they dare venture outside their den with their mother. A tigress may have anywhere from 3 to 4 cubs at one time.
At present, only 6 out of a total of 9 recent subspecies of tigers are left on earth. How much longer they will survive this extinction is, however, a much-debated and tense question. According to research, all six of the remaining subspecies of tigers are at the brink of extinction.
Even with huge and well-funded conservation efforts being carried out to curb their extinction, the future of these beautiful animals seems very uncertain. There are still numerous important steps that need to be taken to get their numbers up enough to avoid their complete extinction.
How Serious Is The Situation?
When scientists state that tigers are becoming extinct, they really are not exaggerating. Most species of tigers have less than one thousand of them surviving. This gives us the evident fact that protecting tigers against their extinction is a tough task, as is ensuring their mating at a rate where their numbers will rise. Protection against inbreeding should also be provided to make sure that the genetic pool of those tigers that are created with this process isn’t compromised in the whole process.
The negative publicity for which the tigers are often in the spotlight due to incidents involving them where these animals attacked numerous shows in Las Vegas like the Siegfried and Roy Show, tigers that run away from the zoos and attack people around them, and even circus shows where they have been seen attacking their trainers and the audience, doesn’t really help their cause of protection. Although such incidents are very rare, they grab much attention from the media.
A major hurdle in the survival of these amazing hunters is that less than half of their cubs live for more than 2 years, let alone maturing enough for mating. Tigers that survive this period, however, usually live for up to 15 years in their natural habitats. When held captive, these animals can live for up to 20 years on average. Siberian tigers are the strongest in this regard, as they can survive for up to 25 years in controlled environments in zoos.
Save Their Food
The last, but not least, step in curbing the extinction of tigers is to save their hunting grounds and ensure that they have easy access to their prey. For tigers living in captivity, more research should be conducted on their eating patterns and styles and also on what do tigers eat in their natural environments.