Tigers are inspirational. Tigers are the largest cat species, however they are endangered. They live in the wild in Asia, however their numbers are down to the low thousands in the wild. Thousands of tigers live in captivity in zoos and circuses, however efforts are necessary to save them in the wild.
Tigers are usually recognized for their size and fur patterns. Tigers are approximately up to about 11 feet long from nose to the tip of their tail, a few meters tall, and up to about 850 pounds. Females are smaller than males. Both genders’ bodies are extremely muscular. Their fur color and pattern varies, but is usually reddish-orange with dark vertical stripes. Their undersides are a lighter color. Their stripes are like a human fingerprint, unique in their pattern.
Tigers are primarily carnivorous. They prey on animals about the size of deer and wild boar, but will attack larger or smaller animals at times. Tigers are primarily solitary, but will share their kill at times or interact socially with other tigers, especially family. Females keep their young with them for the first couple of years of their lives. They live together in caves, rocky crevices, or thickets. Cubs are born blind and are born usually with another cub or two. Mothers can have one to six young at a time. Cubs nurse for the first few months until they are ready to go on walks of the area that is seen as their territory and learn to hunt.
The ecology of the areas where tigers still live in the wild are dependent on them. Animals that graze on vegetation are prayed on by tigers. This helps keep a balance between plants and animals. Tigers do also feed on seeds at times. The seeds help tigers with digestion and are defecated without breaking completely down allowing plants to germinate. Another mutualistic relationship, one where both organisms benefit each other, the tigers have is with bacteria. Different kinds of bacteria live in tigers’ digestive tracts and help breakdown sugars and nutrients for the tigers to benefit from. Disease-causing organisms are not able to survive because of the presence of these helpful bacteria.
Habitat destruction and fragmentation, as well as, poaching have led to the populations of wild tigers to be in danger. Many areas where tigers live are densely populated by humans. This has led to problems, however tigers are used in mythology, folklore, and are often revered in society. Tigers are in films and literature. Tigers are on flags and are sports mascots. Whether celebrated or feared tigers have had a monumental impact. Be inspired! Have a bright day!