2013. PRETORIA ZOO- Big Cats Can Roar: White Tiger Awareness

by Bridget Modema

Big Cat Can Roar!

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Tigers are being killed at a rate of 4-5 per week for various reasons including mistaken medicinal purposes, hunting, cubbing (you can buy tiger cubs on the black market) and man-to-tiger conflict.

BIG CATS CAN ROAR INSTALLATION in association with Pretoria National Zoo and TUT aims to raise awareness to preserve the Bengal tiger. A life size tiger is being donated to the Pretoria Zoo as a symbolic figure to this awareness cause.

This project is part of Environment Enrichment which promotes animals to be highly spirited and happy in their surroundings, http://www.nzg.ac.za/enrichment/index.php



19 Facts about Tigers

1. Every single tiger in the world has their own distinct pattern of stripes. This is one of the easiest ways to tell them apart from each other. These stripes are used to help the tiger to hide in their natural environment though so they can sneak up on their prey.

2. They largest of the tiger subspecies is the Siberian Tiger.

3. There are 6 subspecies of tigers left in the world and 3 more are known to be extinct. The remaining 6 subspecies of tigers are all classified as endangered species.

4. All subspecies of tigers are extremely territorial.

5. Tigers are loners.

They are most of the time loners with exception of when they are courting, mating, or raising their offspring in case of females.

6. Tiger mean "arrow". The word tiger came from the greek work "tigris", which is derived from a Persian word that means arrow, probably the name came to be due to the comparison between the speed of the animal and an arrow, or because of the Tigris river.

7. Tigers are 2 million years old. The oldest fossil remains of tigers are believed to be about 2 million years old. They were found in various areas of China.

8. Bengal Tigers are seriously endangered. There are believed to be less than 2,000 Bengal tigers left in the world. However they are not the most endangered of the subspecies, being the South China Tiger the subspecies with less individuals left.

9. Tiger mix. There are some types of hybrid tigers out there. Most of them have been breed in captivity rather than engaging in this on their own in the wild. What is known as the liger is a cross between a lion and a tiger. A tigon is a cross of a female lion and a male tiger. Most of the time the males of these two hybrids are sterile but the females can breed successfully. The creation of such hybrids is still very common in zoos throughout China.

10. White tigers are result of a genetic mutation. White tigers are extremely rare in the wild. Both parents must have a mutated gene in order for this colouring to occur. They are often bred for this colouring in zoos but the result is a great deal of inbreeding. This is why white tigers are more likely to develop severe health problems as well as physical deformities than other types of tigers.

11. The Maltese Tiger. The Maltese tiger or Blue tiger features a black and blue colouring. Most of the Maltese Tiger are known to be South Chinese Subspecies, which is the most critically endangered subspecies.

12. Tigers have not an easy life. It may surprise you that these calculated hunters only make the kill in 1 out of every 20 attempts.

13. Tigers are great swimmers. Tigers are excellent swimmers and are often found during the day relaxing in ponds, streams, and rivers. They seek out water to cool off during hot days and they are even capable to carry prey through water.

14. Some Tigers are famous. Tigger from the Winnie the Pooh series is one of the most well recognized tigers in the world. Millions of dollars are made annually from the sales of toys, games, and shows featuring this character.

15. Tigers are very popular. The tiger was recently named the favourite animal of people through a poll conducted by Animal Planet. The dog was the animal closest to this top ranking.

16. Tigers size depend on their habitat Tigers in the North are larger than those in the South based on their range of habitat and the size of the prey they have available to them. By the same token tigers in the North have lighter colouring than those living in the South.

17. A tiger can leap forward up to 33 feet at a time.

18. Tigresses are smaller than the males in each subspecies.

19. It is estimated that there are 12,000 Tigers in captivity only in the US.

This is more than the tigers registered in the wild.

Keep posted for more news!

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