Tigers Birth And Care Of The Young
By Amelia Meyer
After a gestation period of 16 weeks (about 3.5 months), a tiger gives birth to a live litter, usually comprising three or four cubs. However, litters of up to seven cubs have been known to occur, although they seldom all survive. In anticipation of her birth, the pregnant mother will prepare a den that is in a secluded spot; protected from other predators and from bad weather.
These spots are often in crevices, caves, dense grasses or even in the hollow of a large tree and usually provide a mat of soft grass or leaves on which she can give birth. When the cubs are born, the female is alone; the father usually has nothing to do with the birth or rearing of his cubs. The cubs are born with their eyes closed and are, therefore, blind. They are totally dependent on their mother for their every need. Their eyes will open within between six and 12 days from birth. They weigh between 780 and 1 600 grams.