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Sumatran Tiger

Indonesia's last sub-species of tiger - the Sumatran - is doomed unless the trade in its body parts is stopped and its habitats saved, campaigners warn. One estimate suggests there may be only 400-500 of the tigers left in the wild. The tiger is one of the most feared animals in the world. That is probably because it is the largest of the felids, although the Sumatran tiger is smaller than the Indian tiger. The tiger is known for its stripes, and the Sumatran tiger has stripes that are a little closer to each other than some other subspecies of tiger. Tigers have very muscular front legs (forepaws) with large paws armed with large, sharp claws

Range & Habitat:
The Sumatran Tiger is found only in the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
They inhabit only the small island of Sumatra, where there small size makes it easy for them to move in the dense tropical jungle. Unlike the cheetah and lion, the tiger does not live in open areas. They rely on ambushing their prey , which requires something to hide them. As a result, they prefer to live in moderate to dense cover.
Diet: Tigers eat mostly sambar, chital, Red deer, Swamp deer, Rusa deer, and Wild pigs. Occasionally, however, they will kill a rhino or elephant calf. About one in ten or twenty attempts to catch prey is successful. Unlike the cheetah, the large tiger cannot outrun most of its prey. Instead, it relies on the element of surprise by hiding in the tall grass and ambushing it prey.

Sumatran TigerReproduction & Offspring: After a gestation period of about 103 days, the mother tiger gives birth to 2-4 cubs. The cubs weight about 2.2 pounds each, are totally blind, and completely helpless. The mother raises them alone, since the male tiger does not stay with any one of his several mates. The mother hunts and periodically returns to her den to feed her cubs. Later, the cubs will join her on the hunt and will learn the art from their mother.

Life span: 15 to 20 years.

Conservation status:
The tiger is an endangered species.* Of the eight tiger subspecies that once existed, only five remain (Bali, Javan and Caspian tigers have become extinct in the last 40 years). The primary reason for the decimation of wild tiger populations is human overpopulation and other activities that result in the destruction and fragmentation of habitat. Increasingly, the demand for tiger bones and other body parts used in traditional Asian medicines is contributing to the tigers decline. All five remaining tiger subspecies are endangered. It is estimated that only 6,000-8,000 tigers exist in the wild (300-400 Sumatran tigers). The future existence of tigers in the wild is in jeopardy.

Sumatran TigerWoodland Park Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Sumatran tigers across North America. This plan tracks each animal's genetic diversity. It is our hope that our pair will breed and produce offspring

Not a subspecies, but a separate species?
Sumatran tigers are distinctive for being the only subspecies to live in isolation on a large island -- Sumatra, Indonesia. They have been isolated from their cousins on mainland Asia for something like 10-12,000 years; this happened after a rise in sea level.

DNA sequencing tests involving 34 captive tigers, 10 which were Sumatrans, have revealed this isolated subspecies now has unique genetic markers.

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