What is the difference between leopards, tigers and cheetahs?
Although leopards, cheetahs and tigers are all wild cats, there are a number of differences. Of course, the most obvious difference amongst these three cats is their physical appearance. Put simply, leopards have spots, cheetahs have round rosettes and tigers have stripes. They are, in general, all a golden colour with dark markings. Of the three, cheetahs are the fastest and most slender, while tigers are the largest. Their habitats are also vastly different.
Are there different types of tigers?
Yes, there are a number of different subspecies. Today, there are only five subspecies still in existence:
5.South China Tiger
There were once Bali, Javan and Caspian tigers roaming the earth, but these are, sadly, extinct.
Can tigers swim?
Tigers are, actually, very good swimmers and they enjoy cooling down in dams and lakes. The webbing between their toes enables these hunters to move quickly and easily through the water. Tigers have been known to pursue their prey into deep water, where the victim’s performance is challenged.
What are the tigers’ main threats?
Tigers currently face the threat of extinction. Their survival is at risk from all angles; but the most prominent threats are 1) loss of habitat, 2) hunting and poaching and 3) human invasion. Each of these factors presents its own range of challenges, which are insurmountable problems for tigers to tackle without major intervention and conservation initiatives.
Can tigers be bred with other wild cats?
Over the years, tigers have, on occasion, bred with other wild cats. This leads to cubs that display the features of both parents. Therefore, tigers that are born from a lion and a tigress are called ligers, while those born from a lioness and a tiger are dubbed tigons.
Where are tigers found?
Although the natural habitat of tigers is throughout Asia, the encroaching of human beings has negotiated their ability to be as widespread as yesteryear. Today, their natural habitat is far smaller; stretching from India to China and Southeast Asia. Sumatra is the only island in the world that is inhabited by tigers.
What do tigers eat?
Tigers are carnivorous, and spend much of their time hunting for prey. Of course, the specific diet of each tiger depends on the prey available in its own personal territory. However, the favourite food of the tiger includes different species of antelope, wild boars, domestic buffalos, snakes, sloth bears, crocodiles, wild horses and monkeys. When necessary, they will also eat insects, birds and fish.
Do tigers eat human beings?
Tigers are, generally, solitary animals that shy away from human settlements. However, people make easy prey for weak, old tigers as they cannot run as fast as a fit antelope. So, some tigers have taken to attacking people that are walking alone out of the hub of their rural settlement. Once they realise what easy prey a human is, such tigers may get into the habit of hunting unsuspecting people.