SHOULD KNOW BEFORE CONSIDERING BUYING A TIGER
you have the time to commit to a tiger?
Have you done
research on tigers?
Are you willing to give up your vacations?
Have you talked with tiger owners?
you afford to feed him/her?
Do you realize the strength an
Do you know they are meat eaters, and very costly to
keep them fed properly?
Would you know what to do if your tiger would
you have a very large and secure pen for a tiger?
Do you have a vet that is
willing to treat a tiger?
Can you afford to build the proper enclosure?
If so, does this vet have any experience with exotic
It would be in thousands to build the proper pen.
if not, is the vet willing to learn? Will the vet
make a house call?
tigers legal in your state and
Have you checked with your state DNR/Game
Do you have a place to put a
large pen so neighbors or other people can not see
Are your neighbors willing to accept the fact you own
Do you have the patience to
bottle feed a tiger cub?
Are you willing to get up during the night several
times to feed a cub?
Are there young kids in your
household or kids that come on your property that would tease the tiger or go in the pen?
Do you have some experience
with other large animals?
It there a pond or large pool
in the pen? (they love water)
If not, can you afford to get some type of water
source for them?
you afford the home insurance. (if you can get
have a lot of land and in a very rural area?
Do you know that a tiger
can change moods in a split second.
Do you know that a tigers
instinct of attack, is to the throat?
PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND THAT TIGERS ARE CUTE WHEN
THEY ARE CUBS, BUT, THEY GROW INTO VERY DANGEROUS
CURRENTLY, THERE ARE MANY UNWANTED TIGERS THAT IS
TO FIND THE PROPER FACILITIES FOR THEM.
THIS IS MOSTLY DUE TO PEOPLE BUYING THIS CUTE LITTLE
TIGER CUB, THEN REALIZE, THEY CAN'T TAKE THE PROPER CARE OF
THEM AND MOSTLY CAN'T 'AFFORD THEM.
PLEASE, IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ONE, BE SURE TO
DO VERY EXTENSIVE RESEARCH.
YOU ARE JUST INTERESTED IN THEIR BEHAVIOR, PLEASE
written and researched by Tiger-Eyes
( member of Sybil's
Tigers are the largest existing members of the cat family, after the
liger (only lives in captivity.) Tigers live only in Asia, in which they
once roamed all across, from the islands of Java, Bali, Sumatra, to the
freezing taigas of Siberia. Tigers are famous for their thick,
orange-tawny coats, gleaming amber-gold eyes, black to rich brown
stripes, and long, whip-like tail.
These cats have the longest canine
teeth of any land mammal, sometimes three to four inches long,. Like
most cats, with the exception of the cheetah, tigers have retractable
claws, keeping them extremely sharp for battle and gripping, having the
ability to sheath and unsheathe them when need be. A tiger has an
orange-brown coat with stripes, except for the genetic mutated white
tigers and golden tabby tigers, now only existing in captivity, with
only around 200 white tigers, and only 30 golden tabbies. Tigers,
depending on the subspecies and gender, can be from seven feet long to
thirteen feet long from nose to tail tip, the tail being sometimes more
than four feet long, and anywhere from three hundred to eight hundred
pounds, males generally more massive and longer than females (the
largest recorded tiger was a male Amur weighing 1025 pounds.) The tail
of a tiger is used in communication. A tiger with a held up, wagging
tail is happy, a tail at body height wagging means a tiger is excited.
When a tiger twitches its tail between its legs-watch your step! Tigers
have golden-amber eyes (white ones are either ice-blue, green, and
sometimes amber) with a type of third eyelid, and, while color blind,
have night vision six times better than a humans, sensitive and acute
hearing, and an OK sense of smell. The ears have white bullís eyes on
the back of them, so a mother with cubs can see her cubs, and so the
cubs see her. Tigers use their orange-tawny hides and stripes to blend
in with their surroundings, as they can run 35 m/p/h, but have quick
In 1900, there were over 100,000 tigers in Asia,
and nine subspecies. Now, thee are extinct, and there are only 4000-7000
in the wild land.
Amur (Siberian) Tiger-These tigers live in the Russia Far East, with
around 450 survivors, these are the largest non mutated living cats on
earth, males weighing 800 pounds, and have thick, pale coats to keep
Caspian Tiger- The second largest tiger, and very aggressive, often used
in fights in Ancient Rome, these beautiful creatures became extinct in
Bengal Tiger- The most numerous tiger in existence, but yet with a small
number of 3000-5000, these cats mainly live in India, where they hunt
wild deer and boar, or anything else they can lay their paws on. All
white tigers in captivity come from a wild caught white Bengal named
Indochinese Tiger- With around 1000-2000, these tigers live in
southern-east Asia. Little is known about them, as heir lands are mostly
restricted to the public.
Malayan Tiger- Discovered in 2004, around 2000 exist.
South China Tiger- These felines were only given protection in 1977,
they are almost extinct, maybe even already gone, with an estimated
20-30 in China and only 60 in zoos, all in their birth land. None have
been seen in the wild for ten years.
Javan Tiger- Small, highly aggressive tigers, as with the
in the Roman era, these tigers went extinct in the 1970ís. Only one
known photo exists of a breathing Javan specimen.
Bali Tigers- Little is known about these 150 pound tigers, and were shot
by trophy hunters to banishment in the 1930ís. No none photo is known to
be around of a living Bali Tiger.
A tiger uses camouflage to hunt, hiding in tall
grasses or snow for cover. The main prey of tigers are wild pig, deer,
birds, monkeys, wild cattle, peacocks, or anything else they can
capture. Cows are sacred in India, and with their population of over 1
million, cattle is often taken down. Tigers hunt by sneaking up on prey,
often young, weak, old, or injured, but are capable of taking out the
strong. Within fifty feet or closer distance, theyíll start to run, and
ambush the prey. With small game, a bite to the throat is used, while
larger animals are leapt upon, and bitten at the base of the neck,
breaking the spinal cord. Either the rump or internal organs are eaten
first, but tigers may sometimes take the prey of smaller leopards,
sometimes killing their smaller cousins if they argue against the taking
of their kill. A single adult tiger can eat over 100 pounds of meat and
one sitting, and when finished its full, will cover the carcass with
logs and leaves. They will keep coming back for more for several days
until they need a fresh meat supply.
A female tiger is called a tigress, while a baby
is called a cub. The females can be told apart from males easily, so
long as they arenít neutered. While not sexually dimorphic, they can be
told apart one way as the males are larger, sand only the females raise
young. But if you look at the back end of a male, there will be two ball
like subjects (testicals) hanging. Tigresses donít have this.
In general, tigers are solitary. Few cases have ever been reported of
them together. Even then, it is almost always only to mate, or when a
tigress raises cubs. The male and female will join an mate for a few
days, then leave, the male seeking more tigresses to mate with. He will not
participate I caring for his children.
The pregnancy for tigers is 103
days, and soon the cubs are born. Anywhere from one to five are given
life, but often some are born dead and some die shortly afterwards. This
usually leaves only one to three. The tigress for the first few weeks,
will nurse and sleep with them, leaving only for food and water. But
soon she leaves more often. And the cubs set off on their own. They are
vulnerable to leopards, snakes, bears, wolves, and civets in the early
Only 50% survive to the age of a few months, and still 50% of
those live only to their second birthday. The tigress mother will teach
them how to hunt, and will raise them for up to two years. Then the
young will leave, sometimes stay together for a while, and then leave
for good, to live off their lives alone.
Books, Movies and
websites about Tigers
written and researched by Tiger-Eyes
( member of Sybil's
The Lady and her Tiger
Living with big cats-the story of jungle
Larry, safari Jane
and David tetzlaff
The Final confession of Mabel Stark
Hold that tiger!-Stark (probably out of print)
Queen of Shaba-joy Adamson
Prince of cats
Tara: a tigress-Arjan Singh
Tigers the secret life
Tigers in the snow
Here Keller, train this
My pride and joy-George Adamson
Claws-Dan Greeburg (good, but I don't
agree with how they stop the tigers from messing with them
by smacking them on the nose.)
Tiger by the tail
Tiger in trouble
Tiger town-series in reading order by Eric Walters (Definitely
has good realistic info, he based tiger in Trouble on Zoo
camp, I met him once)
Tiger, Tiger, Melvin Burgess
Tiger, Tiger, Lynne Reid Banks
Lord of the kill
The tiger Rising (A good read, but
doesn't approve of
A tiger for Malgudi
the jungle book- Rudyard Kipling
caring for tigers, 1 out of 10 rating, but can be liked by
Two Brothers (11 out of 10, but doesn't approve of
A tiger walks
Tigers of the snow
Living with tigers
Land of the tiger
written and researched by Tiger-Eyes
( member of Sybil's
Tigers, in my opinion, are some of the most
beautiful and powerful animals in the world. Sadly, because
of the Asian black part and illegal trade of tiger parts,
they are becoming more and more rapidly endangered. Poachers
kill them for their bones and organs. Only 4000-7000 remain
today in Asia. And I feel privileged to spend two weeks a
year at a zoo camp, to see tigers, as well s lions, jaguars,
wolves, monkeys, foxes, raccoons, and other exotic and
unique animals up-close. So, while no owning tiger myself,
here is some info for those who want to wok with captive
tigers, or, already work with these felines and want to do
more for them.
Do tigers make good pets?
NO. However, for the
right experience, and knowledgably person, they can be good
companions in captivity. Great thought and decisions should
be made before the purchase of one. Keep in mind they can
live for over twenty-five years, spray like crazy, and do
have the ability to kill their ďowners.Ē I myself donít like
to refer to tigers as pets, as they can never be. They are
more captive opinions than pets. Iíve only ever heard of two
cases where lions or tigers could live in a human household.
And a garage or small backyard will not work to house one at
adult size, which is about 300-800 pounds, sometimes 900 for
a larger than average male Amur tiger! Tigers do cost a lot,
thousands of dollars a year to feed, cage, entertain, and
more. They shouldnít be kept in a neighborhood, as neighbors
will probably complain, or folks might set them free or
stick their hand through the wire to touch the orange fur.
The first question to be asked is ďDo I have
the time, space, patience, money, and love for a tiger?Ē
They arenít like dogs, and no where near domestic. Also,
state or province and city laws need to be fulfilled.
Contact your city government and find out if a tiger is
legal. An exotic vet should be researched beforehand. If you
have trouble locating one, contact a nearby zoo and see if
their vet will help. A large cage a pool needs to be
installed, for a tiger will leap out of a yard easily. And
this animal must never be said as a pet. They are dangerous,
and even the most tame tiger will become aggressive at the
worst of times.
Caging- Chain link can be used. The pen
should be at least 50íx50í in perimeter or 1000í in area,
although Ĺ acre to several acres is more acceptable. It
should be 12í high with a top, for a determined tiger will
jump out. If it is several acres big, it should be around
twenty feet high with something electric at the top in case
of an escape. A bottom is necessary, can be surrounded by
cement and have chain link underground. There should be
natural vegetation, trees, combing logs, scrubs, cat grass
and catnip. Around the cage perimeter should be a security
fence with a padlock to keep out the unwanted, as with the
actual cage as well. For the tiger, there should be a
lockout pen on the side, where the cat can be locked out to
clean the cat or to inspect the cat up close. As tigers
adore water, there should be a pool inside, it can be
professionally made, or by using the largest of Rubbermaid
storing boxes. If the Rubbermaid is used, use thick wire and
attach it to the side to prevent tipping. If water filling
is one outside cage, make sure it is not going through the
chain link, as the tiger might grab it a play a mega game of
tiger tug-of-war (we did this with an Amur tigress, and she
broke the hose!) A hiding hole big enough for a tiger to
curl up in should be made, and while some tigers enjoy rain,
at least part of the cage should be cover to protect them
from the elements.
Where to get a tiger
from? They can be purchased at auctions, from overgrown zoos
and sanctuaries. Photo cubs can be rescued. But if bought
from a breeder, make sure you know the cub is healthy and
use to humans. Only ship one if it is only possible option.
Try taking it to a vet appointment right after purchase. On
the first night home, prepare a bottle, but donít force it
on them the first night. Let them get a good sleep alone.
Let them outdoors to do their business.
Bottle-feeding-Sometimes breeders get mixed
up on tiger genders. To tell them apart if you are
uncertain, look at a tigerís rear. This should work if the
tiger isnít natured/ spayed. If there are two balls hanging,
itís a boy. If not, it's a girl.
The cub should be
bought at a young age to be on milk. KMR (Kitten Milk
Replacement) mixed with plain yogurt and distilled water and
vitamins in a 2oz animal baby bottle with a rounded nipple
can be used. Blend it together in a blender, and then heat
it up. Test the milk on your arm to see if itís the right
temperature. NEVER feed the cub on its back! Either have it
sitting or standing on your lap or on a table. To tell how
much the cub should be fed take the cubs weight in grams,
and give it 5% of its weight it ml. Ex A 200g tiger cub gets
10ml. For the first few weeks, give it milk once every
couple of hours. Give the cub less as it gets older. Make
sure he/sheís not drinking to fast or too slow. Once their
done, pop the nipple out of their mouth, and burp them by
holding them with one hand. As the cub matures, add raw
turkey to the mil. While it can be weaned at several months
of age, I have hard of tigers taking the bottle well in
years of age.
De-clawing is a personal choice. In my opinion is to make
life or a tiger as natural as possible. It is natural for a
tiger to run their claws through wood and rip open an animal
carcass. As cubs, tiger paws should be handled early, and
have large mechanical tools to clip their nails. Declawing
should only be done by a professional vet. Defanging is not
at all recommended.
1 or 2? - Should only one tiger or a pair be
purchased? That is also personal choice. Tigers are in the
wild solitary. If kept in same gender or even opposite
gender pairs, they may often fight, whether playfully or in
anger. But tigers can be raised with buddies. It is up to
the caretaker to choose what is best for the tiger.
Feeding- While adults can still use the
bottle, tigers all need meat. Ten pounds a day is fine most
months, but several more are needed in the winter months. If
they wonít accept plain meat, try coating with milk formula.
Whole prey animals are suggested. Animals that can be used
to feed are deer, cow and beef, chicken, turkey, rabbit,
squirrel, horse, game bird, and others. Try to ask head
hunters for unwanted meat, or those working in
slaughterhouses for rejected cows and pigs. Bones, hair,
organs should be left in unless the tiger is too young to
butcher its own food. Hand feed them as cubs, let them lick
the blood off your hands, letting them know youíre not a
threat, and that your handís not food. Have a cement water
bottle, should be changed twice a day. Rejected carcasses
should be taken out of the cage as often as possible. Fast
tigers once a week. On fasting days, give bones, especially
from animal knuckles and necks.
-Note, carcasses in cages will smell and
be infested with maggots!