Tigers are intelligent, fierce predators and one of the largest cat species in the world. Unlike other big cats, tigers generally live and hunt alone, only coming together to mate. Each tiger has a distinct set of stripes and no two are alike. Tiger litter sizes average between two to six cubs per birth and the females raise the cubs alone till they are about 3 years old. Almost all tiger species have come under threat due to habitat destruction and illegal poaching.
Located in India and Bangladesh, the Bengal tiger is also known as the Indian tiger. Bengal tigers account for about half of all wild tiger species and can survive in both desert and grassland habitats. They are nocturnal hunters that prey on deer, wild pigs and buffalo. According to National Geographic, a hungry Bengal tiger can consume as much as 60 pounds of meat in one night. The tiger is primarily white with black stripes, but sometimes has no stripes at all.
Siberian tigers are commonly referred to as Amur tigers and are the largest of all the tiger species. Preferring the birch forests of Eastern Russia, they are also found in parts of China and North Korea. National Geographic estimates that there are between 400 to 500 Siberian tigers living in the wild and this number is considered relatively stable. They feed on elk and wild boar, choosing to hunt during the night. Siberian tigers are covered in white fur with black stripes.
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of all the tiger species. It is also one of the most endangered species with an estimated 350 to 400 left in the wild today. Poachers prey upon the Sumatran tiger for their prized orange and reddish fur and body parts, which are often used in Asian medicine. This species of tiger is only found in Western Indonesian on the island of Sumatra, making it extremely isolated. They feed mostly on wild animals such as deer and boar.
The Malayan tiger is located in Malaysia and lives in swamps, woodlands and inside plantations. It is estimated that there are around 500 or more Malayan tigers living in Malaysia, making it one of the healthier tiger species. Feeding on wild boar as well as the Barking and Sambar deer, the Malayan tiger is capable of tracking its prey over long distances. Malayan tigers are covered in orange fur and black stripes.
Located in parts of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, the Indochinese tiger has the darkest orange fur coat of all the tiger species. They prefer to live in isolated areas such as high altitude mountain ranges. According to Tiger Homes, there are around 1,200 Indochinese tigers left in the wild. However habitat destruction and illegal poaching has led to declining population numbers. They tend to feed on mid-sized forest dwelling animals like deer, elk and wild boar.