Indochinese Tiger

Name:  Indochinese Tiger
Scientific name:  Panthera tigris corbetti
Range:  Thailand, Southern China, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Habitat:  Forests in hilly and mountainous terrain.
Status:  Endangered:  probably only a few hundred animals in the wild
Diet in the wild:  Grassland ungulates, wild pigs, cattle and deer. 
Diet in the zoo: Carnivore diet.
Location at the Zoo: Asian Falls

Physical description.
Males are much larger than females, and have more conspicuous cheek whiskers.  Males are 8'5"-9'4" long (excluding the tail) and weigh 370-430 pounds.  Females are 7'7" - 8'8" long and weigh under 300 pounds.  Black stripes on a reddish-ochre ground, with white throat, facial patches and belly.  Stripes are narrow.  Body color is a little lighter than that of the Sumatran tiger, which is the darkest of the tigers, and the striping at the front of the body is reduced.  In addition some stripes break up into a row of spots. Compare the Sumatran (right) and Indochinese (left) patterns below:

Indochinese Tiger

Sumatran Tiger
The continued existence of all tigers is precarious.  There are five living tiger subspecies, three of which are exhibited at the Fort Worth Zoo:  Bengal (a white variant), Sumatran and Indochinese.  The other two living subspecies are the Siberian or Amur tiger (of which there are only a few hundred living animals), the South China tiger, which is considered to be similar to the ancestral tiger and which is desperately endangered, with only a few dozen survivors.  The Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers are recently extinct. 

In the wild, the Sumatran and Indochinese tigers you can see at the zoo may be represented by fewer than 1000 animals.  All tigers are now protected, but habitat destruction and the loss of the larger herbivores needed to sustain these large predators may have pushed them beyond their ability to recover.  In addition the naive human belief that we can take on the power and potency of these magnificent animals by consuming their body parts has driven them close to absolute extinction.

Social Organization:

Tigers are shy, nocturnal and solitary.  Each adult male has a territory that includes the territories of several females, whose reproductive status they can assess by investigating the female scent marks. 

Males and females find one another by calling, and stay together only long enough for courtship and mating.  The female raises one to three cubs and teaches them to hunt.  Cubs join their mothers for hunting when they are about six months old, and begin to hunt independently at about a year and a half.

Young females establish their own territories near their mothers when they are two or three years old, while males leave the maternal territory to try their luck with a group of new females. 

Tigers move well on land, but also swim readily and may bathe or sit in water to cool off.  The stripes are effective camouflage in a grassland or brush forest environment, and also break the outline of the body on simpler backgrounds.  Their sense of smell is highly developed; tigers can identify individual humans by their scent alone. 
Hunting Practices: 
Tigers actively stalk their prey and then attack using a swift rush from cover.    They usually kill by clamping the throat of large prey with their powerful jaws and long teeth.  Females will allow cubs to precede them at a kill. 
Resources and Links:

Page Authors:  Andy Neal and Rob Schindlbeck

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