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Amur tigers mainly prey on wild boar, sika deer and red deer. However, they are opportunistic predators, and will prey on a wide variety of animals including birds, fish, rodents, insects, amphibians and other mammals such as primates, badgers and raccoon dogs.
Amur tigers are found in the Russian Far East and north-eastern China. They live in mountainous forested areas.
Amur tigers may have litters of between 1 and 6 cubs, but litter size is usually between 2 and 4 cubs. Cubs are weaned by six months, but can’t kill for themselves until they are 18 to 20 months. The cubs will finally move away from their mothers between 18 and 28 months old.
Amur tigers don’t have any natural predators, but adult males are known to sometimes kill cubs that have been fathered by other males.
Amur tigers were on the brink of extinction in the 1930s, with only 20 - 30 animals surviving. Hunting of the tigers was banned in 1947, and this led to the species making a great recovery. The population today is estimated to number between 400 and 500 individuals, but this number is falling, mainly due to poaching but also because their prey species are being hunted. They are also at risk from forest fires and habitat loss.
Size Males: 2.7-3.3m; females: 2.4-2.75m
Weight Males: 180-306kg; females: 100-167kg
Gestation 3-3.5 months
Young 1-6 cubs
Life span Up to 20 years
Amur tigers have been known to kill adult brown bears.
Tigers are ‘stalk and ambush’ hunters. They try to get as close as possible to their prey before making a sudden dash to overtake it.
In the winter these tigers have to cope with temperatures that may be as low as -34 degrees Celsius!
The tiger is the only big cat with stripes and no two tigers have the same stripe pattern.
Tigers use their carnassial teeth like blades to slice meat from their kills. Their rough tongue is covered in pointy papillae to help them rasp meat from bones.