The Siberian Tiger is found in cold regions in Russia and China. To survive in the harsh climate, the tiger build up fat reserves. Siberian Tigers are also much larger than the tiger variants found in warm habitats, since a large body will conserve heat more efficiently than a small body.
During the cold winter, a Siberian Tiger will need up to 10 kilograms of meat a day to do well. It hunts primarily wild boar, deer and elk and can eat much more than 10 kilograms in one gulp if given the opportunity. Siberian Tigers have been noticed when they feast on 50 kilograms of meat or more. The staple food is wild boar, and the Siberian Tiger population is therefore dependant on a healthy wild boar population.
Roughly 50 percent of the tigers' diet is typically made up by wild boar. Siberian Tigers can also catch smaller prey, such as lynx, rabbit, rodents and fish. The Siberian Tiger can also occasionally hunt bear. The hunting style of the Siberian Tiger is based on surprise attacks. The Siberian Tiger is capable of running faster than 50 miles an hour, but can only keep up this speed during short and explosive attacks.
The Siberian Tiger will therefore usually choose to hunt during the night, when it can use its supreme night vision to ambush prey. The Siberian Tiger is also equipped with superb hearing and a keen sense of smell that is helpful during the hunt. The Siberian Tiger lives in oak, birch and coniferous woodlands in Russian Siberia and northern China. The Chinese population is almost extinct, just like the Korean population, but the Russian population shows strong signs of recovery and has increased significantly during the last two decades.
In 1997, there were approximately 350-400 Siberian Tigers living in Russia. Siberian Tigers mate during December or January and the cub litter is born during early spring when the climate is less harsh and prey offspring are abundant. The Siberian Tiger is a solitary dweller and they will only form pairs during the short mating period. Two Siberian Tigers have been seen hunting together during the mating period, but this is quite extraordinary. They will usually prefer to hunt alone even during the mating period. The female tiger will care for the cubs alone and teach them how to hunt.
The gestation period of the Siberian Tiger is 3-3.5 months. The Siberian Tiger litter will usually comprise three or four cubs. The cubs are born toothless and with closed eyes.
After 14 days, the eyes will begin to open. The cub will consume milk from the mother for roughly six months. Siberian Tigers learn how to hunt from their mother. After around a year, the cubs will have become somewhat independent and capable hunters, but they will still stay with their mother until they are 3-5 years old. The life of the young cubs is hard and it is unusual for more than one tiger from each litter to reach maturity.
By: William Berg