Into the Wild: A Tiger's Lifecycle

By Sara Fathima

July 28, 2022

New Life

The tigress’s gestation period lasts between 90 to 112 days. In the last few days of this period, she begins looking for safe birthing places to help conceal the cubs and sustain the new family. 

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Tiny Tigers

Newborn tiger cubs can weigh up to 1600 kilograms and open their eyes at 6-12 days. Their vision develops only after a few weeks. On average, the litter contains three cubs.

Image source:  Pixabay

Fierce & Furry

Until 15 months of age, tiger cubs spend most of their time playing with their mother and siblings – this helps them develop life skills such as stalking, pouncing, swatting, and climbing.

Image source: Pexels

Growing Up

At 16 months, a hierarchy of order is in place among the cubs in the litter. The dominant cub, often a male, consumes the resources first. He then leaves the family unit at 17-24 months.

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Big Cat

The young independent male tigers move further from their mother’s home territory. They continue to grow up to 5 years of age. They live in temporary habitats until they’re strong enough to settle in their own territory.

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In Mind & Spirit

Unlike other members of the cat family, tigers enjoy swimming. They are powerful, territorial predators that hunt alone after dark. Tigers mark their territory with scratches and urine. 

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Home = Hearty Meal

Tigers thrive in huge habitats and can live up to 26 years in the wild, predominantly feeding on antelope and other animals with hooves. They can consume up to 12 pounds of meat for a meal. 

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Many Dangers 

Only 1 in 10 hunts are successful for tigers. They must compete hard for food and space. Poaching, deforestation, encroachment, commercial development, etc., have made it harder than it already is for tigers in the wild.  

Image source: Pexels