Have you ever caught yourself pondering what do Tigers eat? You can’t say that you haven’t because that means that you wouldn’t have ended up here! Let us teach you all about the dietary habits of one of the most amazing big cats in the world.
Tigers are carnivores, meaning that their diet consists of meat, flesh, and fats off of animals that they catch. This is where they get all of their protein and other dietary requirements in order to conduct day to day activities.
It’s hard to say whether or not Tigers have a preference in what kind of meat they eat or if they are just eating what is available and easiest to catch. They will eat everything that they can catch and kill. This often includes boars, wild pigs, bears, buffalo, wild cattle, dear, antelopes, and even weak or young elephants. When large prey is not available, they are known to feast on lizards, crab, toads, birds, and fish.
These animals are one of the most deadly creatures on earth because of their “cat-like reflexes”. They are knows to reach speeds of over 50MPH for short distances and can out-jump any other animal on earth. They can close in on whatever they are targeting well before they have a chance to even consider making a run for cover. Unless you can climb high into the jungle canopy, there is not much you can do to escape a Tiger.
Their Diet Depends Largely On What Is Available Where They Live
Siberian: This species’ diet ordinarily consists of about 50% wild boar meat. If they cannot get their paws on some wild boar they have been known to eat elk, deer, lynx and sometimes even bears. If large sources of meat are not readily available, Siberian Tigers will eat rabbits, fish, and any rodents they can get to.
White: White Tigers are one of the best hunters because they can follow their prey even if they attempt to escapes into the water. This allows them to easily feat on monkeys, wild cattle, deer, and birds. Since they don’t hunt daily, they will eat until they physically cannot fit any more.
Sumatran: Being a critically endangered species, there is not as much known about this specific species. We believe that their diet consists largely of local birds, fish, and monkeys. They are not good climbers and are limited to prey that comes down to ground level.
Bengal: Native to the savanna regions, they will hunt any livestock they can take down. They commonly feast on buck, wild pigs, and birds. This species is also one of the few that will not have a meal every sing day, so they eat well when they do have a meal.
Malayan: This species boasts the ability to take down just about anything within its hunting range. They are known to eat wild boar, baby elephants, and sub bear. They are extremely accomplished hunters and will kill anything that can’t kill them.
A Little Information On These Majestic Beasts
Tigers are the largest member of the cat family, weighing over 500lbs when full grown. They are native to all over Asia but are most common in India, China, and Siberia. Out of the original 6 subspecies of Tigers, only 4 still remain and all are endangered. Most experts believe that these beautiful creatures will not survive the next 50 years.
Don’t let their beauty and cat-like nature trick you, they are fierce hunters in the wild. They have the ability to leap over 30 feet with a single step to lift them off. Anything that cannot outrun a Tiger is considered possible prey for a hungry Tiger.
There are several different Tiger species but they all display stripes on their sides to help them camouflage. There is the best way to tell them apart from any of the other large cat species you may run into.
Feeding in Captivity Can Be Tricky
Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village in China 2007 – Feel free to use, but credit Save The Tiger Fund.
Zoos and sanctuaries have the tricky task of trying to provide Tigers with the same nutrition they would get in the wild. It is also important that they have the opportunity to hunt that prey down on occasion to keep their skills sharp. This is especially essential if the Tiger is going to be released into the wild at any point in the near future. Answering the question of “what do Tigers eat?” is harder if you are factoring in captive Tigers.
It is not likely that the zoo will have an abundant source of fresh Sun Bear and baby Elephant, so dieticians will need to create a balanced diet of protein and fats. Each Tiger species has specific vitamins and minerals that they will need to be provided.
You cannot run to the store and pick up a can of Tiger food, so it is important to find a local slaughter house that will give you as much fresh meat as you need. The fresher the meat, the better it is for the Tiger. Find someone that can provide you with the largest assortment of meats possible and make sure to add nutritional supplements to the mix.
The Nature of The Hunt
These majestic beasts are one of, if not the, top killers on the planet. They lay in wait for hours at a time waiting for unsuspecting victims to walk right through their hunting grounds. When the prey is in the perfect position, they will spring into action.
The Tiger will leap out of its hiding spot and chase down the target as speeds up to 50 MPH. From their it will jump on the back of the victim and bite at its neck until it falls. They will hold that grip until they are sure that dinner is dead and will not get away.
These animals are loners and do not hunt in groups like Lion and some other large cats, but they will share their catch with other members of their family. This shows that they are good communicators and that they take care of their own.
The fundamental answer to what do Tigers eat is whatever they can catch. They will take down animals that are much larger and more powerful than they are if they can get a good leap and bite. Their agility and leaping ability give them an edge on just about anything out there.