Sumatran Tiger

(Panthera tigris sumatrae)

Habitat and Distribution: Found only in lowland and montane forests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Size: 7-8 feet long; about 2 feet tall at the shoulder; 190-310 pounds. Males are larger than females.

Wild Diet: Wild pigs, deer, tapirs, fish, anything else they can catch

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

Reproduction: Sumatran tigers are ready to mate around 3-4 years. Females give birth to a litter of 2-4 cubs after a gestation of 100-110 days. Cubs weigh a little over two pounds at birth and nurse for 6-10 weeks. By 18 months old, they are ready to hunt for their own food.

Behavior: Tigers are generally solitary and not very active most of the time. They sleep 18-20 hours per day. Both male and female tigers mark their territory by spraying urine on trees, bushes, and the ground. The exact range of the Sumatran tiger is not known, but the population density is approximately 4-5 adult individuals per 40 square miles of lowland rainforest. They enjoy water and will swim to cool down in the hot jungle.

Meet the tiger cubs!

Conservation

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

Tiger populations have suffered from poaching, habitat loss, and conflict with farmers who want to protect livestock. There are only six remaining subspecies of tiger (Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, South China [extinct in the wild], Amur/Siberian, and Sumatran); the other three subspecies (Caspian, Javan, and Bali) have been extinct since the 1950s. At one time, tigers could be found as far west as eastern Turkey, but now they are found in parts of eastern and southern Asia. The wild Sumatran tiger population is estimated at 250-500. There are about 375 Sumatran tigers living in zoos around the world; over 75 of these are in the United States.

Did you know?

  • A group of tigers is called a “streak.”
  • Tigers are excellent swimmers and can easily cross rivers and lakes five miles wide.
  • The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the tiger subspecies and has the darkest coat.