Latin Name: Panthera tigris
Other Names: Siberian Tiger
Habitat and Range: The Amur region of Far Eastern Russia and Northern China preferring temperate forests.
Captive/Wild Lifespan: 16-20 years in captivity; up to 10 years in the wild with one female being 14 when she was killed by poachers.
Gestation: Both males and females reach sexual maturity around 3 years of age. 2-3 cubs are born after 103 days, and will not leave their mother for the next 3-5 years. Surprisingly female tigers do not give birth in dens but rather on the ground in thickly vegetated areas or areas with rocky crevices where the cubs can hide once they are mobile.
Diet: Carnivore - Nearly 65%-90% of it being the Red Deer, with a close second falling to wild boar. Due to the high dependency on these two animals they are also protected.
Adaptations: Being cold weather cats these animals stay warm with nearly 3,000 hairs per square centimeter and fur that can grow to be 21 inches long! They are considered the biggest of the big cats with males capable of reaching 700 pounds and females reaching up to 400 pounds. They can be as long as a station wagon coming in at 10 feet in length. They do live solitary lives only coming together for breeding and establish large territories through urine or scent marking.
IUCN Status: Endangered 2015.
Conservation: Despite still being considered endangered, Amur Tigers have made a recovery. In 1930 it was believed only 30-40 cats remained. As of 2010 that number jumped to 350-400 cats based on paw print tracking in the snow. Although this is a significant come back, Amur Tigers still face habitat loss, loss of prey, and poaching due to the demand for their fur and other body parts for medicinal uses in certain cultures.
Did you know: Unlike the Bengal Tiger, the Siberian Tiger very rarely becomes a man-eater. There are currently only six cases in Russia of unprovoked attacks leading to man-eating. Despite the reputation of cats hating water, Amur tigers are the exception. Not only are they great swimmers but they also enjoy it. Although Amur Tigers come from a snowy region, contrary to popular belief they are not white. Although there orange color is the lightest of the 5 subspecies of tiger they do not carry the gene for white fur. This recessive gene is found in Bengal Tigers. They are not albino however, the gene mutation is refered to as leucistic. Leucism is the partial loss of pigmentation, while albinism is the total loss of pigmentation. This is why they have red eyes.
Here at the CMC Zoo: Rocky has been our resident Amur Tiger here since 2002 when he arrived from Jacksonville, NJ. He was born in 2001 and keepers say their favorite thing about him is how chatty he is. He almost seems to hold a conversation with his keepers. Rocky is also a survivor of cancer. Thanks to a dedicated staff and many medical advances he was deemed cancer free early of 2015.