Thought you knew everything about these striped beauties?
Ahead of World Tiger Day 2017, which aims to raise awareness for the magnificent cats and their plight in the wild, the tigers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo enjoyed a globe-shaped enrichment activity. We’ve put together 10 facts about these majestic endangered beasts:
- Tigers are the largest cats in the world, with large individuals reaching 3.3 metres (11 feet) in length and 363 kilograms (800 pounds) in weight
- Fossil remains found in China suggest that tigers have prowled the earth for at least 2 million years.
- They can swim several kilometers with ease, and often spend time in water to cool down
- They can sprint at 65 kilometres (40 miles) an hour and can cover five metres (16 feet) in one leap
- White tigers are occasionally born – they’re very rare, with the gene only found in 1 tiger in 10,000
- There are six living sub-species of tiger: Sumatran, Amur, Bengal, Indochinese, South China and Malayan. The Bali, Caspian and Javan sub species are all extinct.
- Solitary creatures, tigers hunt alone at night. Fewer than 10 per cent of hunts are successful.
- Hunting tigers use their huge body weight to knock prey to the floor before delivering a fatal bite to the neck.
- The famous stripes camouflage the animals, with each individual having a unique pattern
- Cubs – born in litters of three or four – spend around a year and a half with their mother before they are ready to go it alone.
(Photo credit: RZSS Edinburgh Zoo)