Tigers are the largest cats on earth. At present, there are six subspecies of tigers, each living in different habitats. Amur or Siberian tiger is the largest tiger subspecies and Sumatran tigers are the smallest. Other subspecies include Bengal tigers, Sumatran tiger, South China tiger, and Malayan tiger. At Emirates Park zoo you can see Amur /Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) and Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris Tigris). Each tiger has a unique stripe pattern. They can carry something twice their own body weight 10 feet (3 meters) up a tree. In a day, the tiger can consume more than a hundred pounds (45kg) of meat which is almost equal to 400 burgers! Tigers are very patient hunters. They can move slowly and silently, stalking their prey for 20 or 30 minutes. In the wild, tigers hunt boars, bears, and mainly deer species, and only need to eat every couple of days depending on the size of the meal they have found. They have excellent night vision which is six times better than humans.
Although beautiful, these magnificent creatures are on the brim of extinction. There used to be 9 subspecies of tigers, 3 of which are now extinct. The 6-remaining subspecies face habitat destruction, poaching for their fur and bones used in traditional medicines, human-wildlife conflict and they suffer from capture and selling in the exotic pet trade. Conservation actions are ongoing globally to save the tigers such as preserving and connecting tiger habitat, monitoring tigers and their prey, urge governments to support, eliminate tiger trade, etc. You can be supportive of these efforts stand against illegal wildlife trade, say NO to any products made by tigers’ body parts, inform authorities regarding illegal actions towards tigers, donate for conservation efforts, and spread the conservation message.