The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger
Big Cats, Cats, Siberian Tiger, Wild Cats

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger

Today we are going to talk about my Big Cat Series and if you like please read my article here to catch up on what these series are about. First up in the Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger. big, strong, beautiful and the most feared cat in the world!

In fact, they are the most dangerous animal in the wild and they are extremely huge and consider this; their length is taller than a one-story building.

More about that in a moment.

In the following video, you will watch as three orphaned Siberian tigers who were rescued after their mothers were killed by poachers and are being released back into the wild.

I watched this several times and each time it brought me to tears because these tigers were being set free and also because they are just so beautiful to me… unbelievably breathtaking to my soul!

O.k. here we go…

Video courtesy of IFAW

 

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger – Panthera Tigris Altaica

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger
The Amur Tiger – Panthera Tigris Altaica

According to Wikipedia.org, “The Siberian tiger was also called Amur tiger, Manchurian tiger, Korean tiger,[4] and Ussurian tiger, depending on the region where individual tigers were observed.”[10][12]  wikipedia.org

Sadly, it’s estimated that there are around 400 to 500 Siberian tigers left in the wild and the good news is that the population has slightly recovered from 331 to 393 in 2005

And now lets fast forward to 2015 and their population increased from 480 to 540.

The big cat is now classified by the IUCN on its Red List of Threatened Species as endangered and has become extinct in several countries where they once lived:

  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Mongolia

How Big Does The Siberian Tiger Get?

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger
The Amur Cat is Huge!

Siberian tigers are muscular and have large heads and powerful forelimbs, huge paws and canines with 33 razor-sharp teeth that shred their prey making it easy to feast on their dinner!

The Siberian (Amur) tiger is among the largest of all the tigers and they have the most variance in size even when compared to Leopards and Lions.

The males are larger than females, for instance:

  • Males – The average weight for an adult male Siberian tiger is approximately 660 to 700 pounds (300 kilos)
    • They can weigh as much as 423 kilograms, or 933 pounds and grow up to 10.5 feet (3.3 m) from head to tail.
    • The tiger is as tall as a one-story building!
    • The largest cat ever caught weighed almost 1,000 pounds!
    • If this big cat were to stand up on its hind legs he would be as tall as a female giraffe!
The Big Cat Series – Tigers of The World
Male and female Siberian tigers
  • Females – Are about half the weight of male tigers weighing in at around 200 to 370 pounds (100 to 167 kilos.)
    • They measure in at  8.5 feet (2.6 m) which is still very huge compared to other cats.
    • The female is larger than the largest male Sumatran Cat

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger What’s For Dinner?

on Red deer, Wild Boar, Manchurian Elk, Goral, and Sika deer. These large herbivores make up about 85% of the tiger’s diet

The Big Cats Series - The Siberian Tiger
Food Web of Siberian Tigers Ecosystem. Amur tigers are at the top of their food chain 

 

Siberian tigers love to munch on the following 

  • Manchurian wapiti and Manchurian sika deer
  • Siberian musk deer and Siberian roe deer,
  • Long-haired goat Antelope, Moose, and Elk
  • Junior Asian black bear and Ussuri brown bear
  • Wild boar
  • Siberian tigers also hunt smaller prey such as hares, rabbits, pikas and salmon
  • And an occasional piece Pika chocolate mousse cake… haha just kidding… 😀
  • These Herbivores are about 85% of  these Carnivores scrumptious diet

Did You Know?

 

The Big Cats Series - The Siberian Tiger
Tigers love rabbits and hares… but what is the difference between the two?

 

The difference between Hares and Rabbits are:

  • Hares are larger than rabbits with much longer hind legs and ears with black markings
  • And their fur changes colors depending on the season such as, in winter their fur is white and in the summer brown or gray.
  • Rabbits, on the other hand, are much smaller than the Hare
  • And rabbit’s fur stays the same color year-round and rabbits are more social animals.

Where does The Siberian (Amur) Tiger Live?

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger
The Siberian tigers have moderately thick, coarse and sparse fur which helps them stay warm in snowy weather.

 

The Amur tiger lives in far eastern Siberia in the Amur-Ussuri region of Khabarovsk Krais and Primorsky Krasi also in eastern Russia‘s birch forests, and there are some tigers in China and North Korea.

Siberian tigers can also be found in the snow-covered hilly regions where they live, breed and their food supply is plentiful.

– Trinomial name – 
Panthera Tigris Tigris
(Linnaeus, 1758)

TigerMapRussianFarEast.jpg
Distribution of the Siberian tiger (in green)

Sadly, some of these tigers are human killers and have killed more people than any other cat. Why does this happen? Are we to blame? What causes a wild animal to attack humans?

Well, most cases are due to the continuous invasion of their habitat by humans and the fact that this tiger does inhibit one of the most populated areas in the world and this is a factor to consider on their behalf.

Villagers while walking through the dense forest will wear masks on the back of their heads to thwart the tigers from attacking them.

Due to the fact that tigers are more than likely to attack if your back is turned towards them.

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger – Populations

Phylogenetic relationship of tiger populations[9] Note the close relationship between the Caspian (PTV or P. t. virgata) and Siberian (ALT or P. t. altaica) tigers.

Safe havens and conservations are in place and there are laws protecting the tiger, which is awesome in itself, however, I wish there was more that we can do to help them to survive.

It’s a fact that these wild cats survive longer in captivity and although I know they are somewhat safe, regardless, I refuse to go to a zoo and pay money to see caged animals of any kind. But how safe are they?

Back in December 2007, an incident occurred at the San Francisco Zoo in California, where Tatiana, a 14-year-old Siberian tiger, escaped from her open-air enclosure, killing a visitor and wounding two others.

Tatiana was shot through the forehead and killed by armed officials.

However, the zoo was criticized for providing only a 12.5 ft (3.8 m) fence around her enclosure, although the international standard is 16 ft (4.9 m).

Regardless of whose fault it was, lawsuits were filed and in the petition, it stated that if the enclosure were at international standards the young man and the tiger would still be alive.

The zoo later built a taller barrier topped with an electric fence in hopes that this will never happen again.

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger

Secure measures are in place to protect both the animals and the public.

According to Wikipedia, “the Association of Zoos and Aquariums said the attack was the first time a visitor had been killed by an escaped animal since the Association’s founding in 1924.[15]”

The zoo was closed until January 3, 2008, while the investigation continued and it was found that one of the victims admitted taunting Tatiana (the tiger).

However, according to the Los Angeles Times: “A lawyer for the two men who were injured in the San Francisco attack maintains that they did nothing to provoke the tiger.”

So, who knows what really happened? Sadly, a young man died and the tiger was killed!

Siberian (Amur) Tiger – Amazing Facts

The Big Cats Series - The Siberian Tiger
Siberian tiger Tigris Anna Saveleva.photographed with a camera trap
  • The Siberian tiger summer coat is coarse, and their winter coat is dense, longer, softer, and silkier.
    • Also, their winter fur is really shaggy on the trunk and is strikingly long on the head, and it almost covers the ears.
  • Their coloring is orange pale fur with golden yellow and black stripes or brown fur that is splashed with white bellies and chests and ruff of white fur around their necks.
  • The striped pattern is different for each tiger,
  • Their markings are unique, kind of like our fingerprints, no two tiger stripes are alike and this is how researchers can track them and identify one particular tiger from the other.
  • Their tales can be up to 3 feet long! Wow! Incredible!
  • While hunting, a Siberian tiger can run faster than 50 miles per hour,
    • It will only run short distances to get close enough to its prey to pounce on them in a sneak attack.
  • Tigers can jump up to 33 feet in one giant leap!
    • “I could never imagine that a tiger could so effortlessly leap from the ground onto an adult elephant’s head, which is at least 12 feet above the ground,” Vivek Menon, executive director of the Wildlife Trust of India
  • Tiger’s roar can be heard 1.9 miles (3 kilos)
  • Normally, in the wild, the lifespan of a Siberian Tiger is 10-15 years, however, in captivity, they can live for up to almost 20 years.
  • Tigers can eat up to 60 pounds of meat only if they are super hungry, but on average, they eat about 20 pounds of meat in a single sitting.

In Conclusion

 

The Big Cats Series - The Siberian Tiger
Mama and her cub

The Siberian (Amur) tiger is at the top of the food chain and is the most feared cat in the world! which is fascinating in itself and they are the biggest cats of all the wild cats.

Although they hunt prey twice their size and not all their hunts are always 100% successful resulting in them eating every 5 days or less.

When their hunts are successful they can eat anywhere from 20 pounds up to 60 pounds of meat in a single sitting, sometimes they prey on smaller animals such as rabbits and salmon.

Male tigers who hunt and kill will share their meat with the females or cubs and they also let the smaller tigers and cubs eat first unlike Lions where the males eat first, then the Lioness and coming in last are the cubs.

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger in the Wild

While poachers are still illegally hunting this endangered tiger, their population dwindles regardless,

However, there are safe havens, sanctuary habitats and conservations in place and protection laws and agreements to help these big cats survive!

They are beautiful, huge cats and as they roam this world in different habitats of safety and the wild and they are at the top of the ecosystem and without them to control that system it would be unbalanced and frightening, to say the least.

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Their mission is threefold:

  1. We will rescue and rehabilitate indigenous wildlife
  2. and provide lifelong care for those that are non-releasable due to permanent disability or victims of the illegal pet trade
  3.  Provide education and outreach services to youth groups, adults and schools in underserved communities in northern Nevada
  4.  Model innovative approaches to energy use for visitors and participants in our classroom presentations.

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Meowz to you!

Donna Rayne & Sammie Mae

 

 

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