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21 Amazing Tiger Facts

Many times what you read on the internet concerning big cats is full of fallacies, myths, and outdated information. But, we ran across an article that has fantastic information in it, and is fairly accurate! We wanted to share these 21 amazing facts about tigers with you (with a few small edits and notes)! They really are remarkable animals....but we have known that all along!

1. A tiger’s legs are so powerful that they can remain standing even when dead…Tigers have been known to have been shot, bleed out, and die, all while standing up. Pretty crazy.


2. They are the largest of all the big cats, weighing up to 700 pounds

3. If you look a tiger in the eyes he is less likely to kill you…Tigers prefer to hunt by ambush. Because of this, men in India often wear masks on the back of their head with a second face to keep tigers from sneaking up on them.

4.Tigers are completely blind for the first week of their life. About half do not survive to adulthood


5. The white spot on the back of their ears is called an ocelli (eye-like marking)


6. Tigers have antiseptic saliva


7. Tiger’s tongues make our tongues look pretty sad…The tiger’s tongue is covered with numerous small, sharp, rear-facing projections called papillae. These papillae gives the tongue a rough, rasping texture and is designed to help strip the skin, feathers, fur and meat right off prey. They have been known to lick the paint right off the walls of their enclosures in the zoo.


8. Tigers are mostly solitary creatures…Tigers are solitary animals, and it is actually fairly rare to see them group together in the wild. The exception to this, of course, is a mother and her cubs.


9. They’re nicer than lions (when it comes to eating)…Unlike lions, who would fight to the death over a kill, when a tiger crosses paths with another tiger while hunting, they often share the meal together. Also, when several tigers are present at a kill, the males will wait for females and cubs to eat first, again, unlike lions, which do the opposite. Tigers rarely argue or fight over a kill and simply wait turns.


10. Tigers have very diverse diets…Tigers feed on deer antelope, wild boar, and buffalo. But did you know they also eat a variety of birds, fish, rodents, small elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, and even leopards?


11. Tigers do not normally view humans as prey…Tigers will only attack a human in the wild if they feel threatened. Or if they’re really really hungry and you look delicious. 😉 But seriously, if you were to ever encounter a tiger in the wild, slowly back far, far away while keeping eye contact with him. Chances are you’re in his territory and he wants you to leave more than he wants to eat you.

12. A backhand from a tiger can kill you…While tigers prefer to use their massive teeth to crush their victim’s neck (lovely!), a single strike is enough to do the job. One swipe from a tiger’s front paw is strong enough to smash a bear’s skull and even break its spine.


13. Tigers have been known to imitate the call of other animals to successfully attract prey


14. Tigers have a brain that weighs over 300g…It is one of the largest brains of all carnivores.


15. Tigers are adept swimmers…Unlike almost all other big cats (except jaguars), they enjoy bathing and often play in the water. As adults, they often swim several kilometers to hunt or to cross rivers.


16. They have an amazing short term memory…Cats in general have been found to have a better memory than most animals, being at least 200 times better than dogs. Tigers’ short-term memory alone lasts about thirty times longer than humans’, and their memories are made with stronger brain synapses, meaning that they can remember more and do not forget things as easily as we do. *We didn't find conclusive research data validating this, but we believe it! We have seen time and time again here at CARE how long the tigers remember things. Never upset a tiger, they will never forget that you did!


17. There were once nine subspecies of tigers: Now only 6 remain…Three subspecies of tiger have been killed off in the last 80 years.


18. The Balinese tiger was purposely hunted to extinction…Due to the Balinese cultural belief that tigers were a destructive force, they were culled until their extinction. Below is one of the few known photographs of a Bali tiger.


19. There are a greater number of tigers in captivity in the US alone than there are wild tigers left on earth. *This includes tigers in zoos, sanctuaries, as well as private ownership. And, this also includes all of the U.S., not just backyards in Texas which is a common myth.


20. The white tiger was eradicated in the wild due to trophy hunting or capture for the exotic pet ownership…There have been no recorded sightings of these rare Bengal tiger variants in the wild for the past 50 years. Today, the white tiger can only be found in captivity.


21. It has been estimated that the last remaining subspecies of tigers could become extinct in the wild in as little as 15 years…We have lost 97% of the wild tiger population in the last century, and numbers continue to get lower.


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