BLACK BEARS sybils den
 
Welcome to Sybil's Den.  This site is meant for information purposes  on raising  pet exotics animals based on my experience.  There are care sheets for black bears, foxes, raccoons, emus, farm animals and domestic animals.   Also please find a very informative message board with a lot of great members.

For some of the species of animals I have or had information on, You will find their photo gallery.
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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE CONSIDERING  BUYING A TIGER

Do you have the time to commit to a tiger? Have you done extensive  research on tigers?
Are you willing to give up your vacations? Have you talked with tiger owners?
Can you afford to feed him/her? Do you realize the strength an adult tiger?
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 attack you?
Do 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 animals?
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?
Are tigers legal  in your state and /country/twp/city?

Have you checked with your state DNR/Game Commission?
Do you have a place to put a large pen so neighbors or other people can not see them? 

Are your neighbors willing to accept the fact you own a tiger?
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?
Can you afford the home insurance. (if you can get insurance) Do you 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 ANIMALS.

CURRENTLY, THERE ARE MANY UNWANTED TIGERS THAT IS VERY DIFFICULT 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.
 
IF YOU ARE JUST INTERESTED IN THEIR BEHAVIOR, PLEASE READ ON:
 

Information on Tigers
written and researched by Tiger-Eyes ( member of Sybil's Message Board)

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 stamina's.
 
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 them warm.
 
Caspian Tiger- The second largest tiger, and very aggressive, often used in fights in Ancient Rome, these beautiful creatures became extinct in the 1950ís.
 
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 Mohan.
 
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 Caspian, used 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 days.

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 Message Board)
Nonfiction
Zamba-Ralph Helfer
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)
Born free
Living free
Forever free
Queen of Shaba-joy Adamson
Prince of cats
Tiger! Tiger!
Tiger haven
Tara: a tigress-Arjan Singh
Tigers the secret life
Tigers in the snow
Untamed
Here Keller, train this
My pride and joy-George Adamson

 
Fiction
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 ownership.)
A tiger for Malgudi
the jungle book- Rudyard Kipling (not on caring for tigers, 1 out of 10 rating, but can be liked by others.)

 
Movies
Two Brothers (11 out of 10, but doesn't approve of ownership.)
India tiger
A tiger walks
Tigers of the snow
Living with tigers
Land of the tiger
 
Authors comment
written and researched by Tiger-Eyes ( member of Sybil's Message Board)
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- 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!


 



 

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