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Tigers Endangered!

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The tiger is the largest cat species in the world; the largest tiger sub-species is the Siberian tiger. The approximate weight of the male is 500 pounds and the female is 300 pounds. The average length of the male tiger is 10 feet and the female 8 feet. The average height of a tiger is 3 feet. The appearance of the tiger depends to a great extent on where the animal lives. Tigers that live in cold regions are paler in colour and larger in size; their fur is long and thick. In warmer climates, tigers are smaller in size and more colourful; they have shorter, thinner fur. The fur on the tiger's back is very thick and the stripes are pale. The colour of the Siberian tiger is yellowish-brown, while the Indian tiger is reddish-brown. The stripes on a tiger are very dark. Like all cats, tigers have sharp claws and teeth.

Once tigers ranged from Java, Bali, southern Asia, eastern Turkey, to the eastern shores of Asia on the Okhotsk Sea, to the island of Sumatra, and to the west of India. Today, tigers are not found west of India or on the islands of Java and Bali. The remaining tigers are in China, Southern Asia, and Russia's far east; these are mostly isolated habitats, and tigers are greatly reduced in numbers.

Depending on geographic locations, tigers can be found in a variety of habitats. They range from tropical forests, evergreen forests, ravines, woodlands, mangrove swamps, grasslands, savannas, and rocky country. Some other preferred habitats include dense thickets, long grass or tamarisk shrubs along river banks. Some tigers seem to take a special liking to old ruins for cover. Tigers rely on concealment for stalking and ambushing their prey; they seek areas with ample food, water and moderately dense cover. Tigers are adaptable animals; they can adapt to many different surroundings, as long as they have sufficient water, shade and food.

Young tigers or cubs are born from 100 to 112 days after parents have mated. Usually tiger cubs are born between February and May after a gestational period of three and a half months. The cubs weigh under three pounds at birth and are striped. The cubs' eyes open in 15 to 16 days. a litter consists of 1 to 4 cubs, occasionally up to 6, but only 2 to 3 will survive. The mother is responsible for defending her cubs, while the father hunts for food. Tiger cubs are weaned at 4 to 6 months, but depend on their mother for food and protection for another 2 years; the new males entering a female tiger's territory may kill her her cubs. Cubs learn how to kill at 16 months, and they are on their own at 2 to 3 years. The white ear spots help the mother tigers and cubs to keep track of each other in dim forests at night. The life spand of tigers is maximum 15 to 16 years. In zoos, tigers may live to be 20 years old, but they seldom live to be this old in the wild.

The tiger has few enemies; besides humans, they are large buffaloes, elephants and bears. Its defence against other animals that may attack are its large claws and very powerful teeth. Tigers are



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