Big Cat Week: Day #5

Tigers lead a very solitary lifestyle and are rarely caught on camera... or they could just be camera shy.
We are drawing near to the end of Big Cat week soon, but before that sad last post which will be up tomorrow (make sure you read it, it is on the conservation of the cats mentioned!!) we get to tell you about an animal that has received love from all corners of the earth. Introducing to you our precious followers the majestic and royal TIGER! these cats are the biggest felines in the world with the Sumatran tiger winning 1st place for the biggest cat out of all 6 subspecies of Tiger. 
When doing the reading for this post we were very surprised that there were 6 different subspecies of Tigers and they are: the Bengal tiger, Indochinese, Malayan, Sumatran, Siberian  and the South China tiger. All six of these subspecies, have similar adaptations that they share such as heavy bones and strong muscles that are able support the tigers large frame, their claws are sharp enough to cling onto prey and their jaws hold very long canines in order to deliver that fatal blow to the back of the victims neck. 

here are some adaptations of the tiger.

Habitat: Found in East and Southern Asia, and found in territories ranging from Siberia to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. 

Conservation Status: Endangered

Population: 3,200

It is thought that the South China tiger, has now gone extinct in the wild this is because there has not been one spotting for 25 years. There is a possibility that there may be a few individuals in the forests, even so those individuals would not be viable. This subspecies is already lost, can we afford to loose any more?

They may be endangered and have a dangerously low population, but these big cats are extremely adaptable! They are top predators in all the habitats that they occupy, with their ability to swim, run, jump and climb trees with ease. Now they have the skills, it  opens up an array of prey items to them including- snakes, boar, buffalo, crocodiles, deer, leopards and sometimes camels, conflicts between tigers and rhinos and elephants are pretty frequent and in these conflicts the tiger often comes of winning.

Tigers usually mate from November- April after a gestation period of about 3 months, and tend to give birth to 2-3 tiger cubs a time. When the cubs reach around 18 months old the cubs start to become independent through their ability to hunt for themselves. 
It is thought that, the cubs can grow rapidly and are able to put on 100g of weight every day.






The Tiger Queen:

This is just a section of Machli's  territory, it was one of her chilling out spots

You may recognize this subheading, for those of you who have been following Big Cat Week on NatGeoWild then you may have watched 'Tiger Queen', this documentary gave us a taste of the social hierarchy behind these solitary and secretive cats. It takes place in Ranthambhore national park located in Norther India one of the best tiger territories in all of India. previously you read that the tiger population had decreased to 3,200- 40% of this population is found in India and 40 of that percentage are found in this national park.
The main tiger is a tigress called Machli who has occupied a territory with an old fort, resembling a palace, she is in prime position with access to food and water all year round as such Machli has defended her territory for an astounding 11 years (the average amount of time for a tiger to keep control of their territory is 3-5 years). Machli gained this priced piece of land by defeating and banishing her own mother when she was only 3. She has produced 5 litters and raised 9 cubs to adulthood, but it is her latest litter that will bring about her demise. One of Machli's three cubs called Satra has her eye on her mothers territory and has no intention of leaving even though both her and her sisters have reached sexual maturity. 
This is Satra, revelling in her new territory and taking her place as the new queen.

It comes the day when Satra starts her take over of the throne, she challenges her weakest and most timid sister (Unis) by roughing her up a little, Unis realises that this bullying will not stop and has no other choice to leave. With Unis gone Satra turned on her last sister Athara, Satar dared not do this infront of her mother and wait until Athara leaves her mothers side and then exiles her sister Atara of her land also. Last of all, Satra challenges and then exiles her own mother leaving Satra as the new queen of Ranthambhore. However her reign was not for long, as a male tiger soon got wind of Satras irresistable scent and closed in on her territory, and he to decided he wasnt leaving this gold mine and just like that forced Satra of the land and out to find a new territory to call her home.
Overall, we found out learning about how complex a tigers social behaviour is, it was seen that territorial disputes take place between mother and daughter and between male and female tigers. 

Well that is the end of todays Big Cat Week post, we hope you learnt more about these marvellous cats. If you watched this documentary tell us what part you enjoyed more, or maybe you wtached another documentary that you really enjoyed and want to tell us about it! Leave a comment down below for us guys!
So just before we leave we thought we would show you this awesome video of how London Zoo keeps their Sumatran tigers entertained.
Over and out.

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