Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Malayan Tiger

(Panthera tigris jacksoni)
              

Habitat and Distribution: Found only on the southern parts of the Malay Peninsula (southern tip of Thailand) in tropical and subtropical broadleaf forests.

Size: 7-9 feet long; 220-300 pounds. Males are larger than females.

Wild Diet: Wild pigs, deer, tapirs, cattle, goats and monkeys

Predators: Humans; young tigers can also fall prey to leopards, snakes, and other tigers.

Lifespan: 10-15 years in the wild; 20 years in zoos

Reproduction: Malayan tigers are ready to mate at around 4 years of age. After a gestation of 100-110 days, a pregnant female finds a den and delivers a litter of up to 5 cubs. Cubs are vulnerable at birth, but are ready to follow their mothers out of the den after about 8 weeks. Mothers stay with their cubs until they are at least 18 months old and ready to live on their own.

Behavior: Adult Malayan tigers are usually solitary but will sometimes hunt in groups. They hunt by sneaking up on prey, grabbing it with their large front paws, and gripping its neck with powerful jaws until it suffocates. A tiger can eat 80 pounds of meat in one sitting!

Meet the tiger cubs!

Conservation

IUCN Status: Endangered

Today, there are an estimated 400-500 Malayan tigers left in the wild (compared to about 3,000 in 1950). The major threat faced by these tigers is the fragmentation of their habitat, due mainly to road development and the conversion of land for farming or raising livestock. These activities have also resulted in more frequent encounters with people and livestock, increasing human-tiger conflict and poaching. Poached tigers often end up on the black market. Some tigers also die of starvation as their prey is over-harvested.

Did you know?

  • Malayan tigers have been said to sneak up on a tree of monkeys and roar so loudly that startled monkeys fall off their branches.
  • Tigers are great swimmers and may hang out in the water to cool off or take a bath.
  • They can run up to 60 miles an hour.