SIBERIAN TIGER: DANGEROUS AND ENDANGERED
- Photographs by Volodymyr Burdiak / Shutterstock.com, Theeradech Sanin / Shutterstock.com, Doug McPeek / Shutterstock.com
In 2016, for the first time after a constant decline, the population of tigers was on the rise. Nevertheless, the largest cat species is still vulnerable to extinction. Over the last century, the number of wild tigers has fallen by 95 percent. Of nine known tiger subspecies three are extinct.
The largest member of tiger family is the Siberian tiger, also known as Amur, Ussuri, Altaic, Korean, Manchurian or North China tiger. Males can grow up to 3.3 m (10.5 feet) and weigh up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds). Its half-year-old cub is of the same size as adult cheetah.
The Siberian tiger tails are longer than those of other species, which, in fully grown males, are about 1 m (39 in) in length. When jumping, they use tail as rudder. It also helps them balance when they are climbing.
Tigers have strong muscular body. They can leap distances of over 6 m (19 feet), jump up to 5 m (16 feet) vertically, carry double their bodyweight. Tiger’s legs are so powerful that they can remain standing even when dead.
Siberian tigers are extremely strong fighters. Only one animal of the taiga can compare to tiger in strength. It is a brown bear. They are equally powerful but tiger is more intelligent and technical than bear. Only one swipe of tiger's paw is strong enough to smash bear's skull and break its spine. In head to head fight tiger wins.
Tigers of the taiga are fiercer hunters. They feed on animals, primarily larger prey: Manchurian deer, wild boar and sika deer. They also may prey on fish: tigers catch fish in the shallow waters of highland rivers during spawning season.
As other species of tiger family Siberian tigers do not hunt on humans. They only attack if they are really hungry or feel threatened. Though sometimes, after trying it once, the predator can develop a taste for human flesh, which may explain why one individual animal is responsible for several human attacks.
Each tiger’s face is so distinctively marked that it is possible to distinguish one tiger from another. As no two humans are known to have identical fingerprints, no two tigers have the same patterns.
The stripes on the tigers forehead looks very similar to Chinese character Wang "王" meaning “the king”.