The tiger is the most powerful living cat species on the earth and the largest and heaviest living of the cats in the world. Physical traits of the tiger vary according to subspecies, but generally male tigers can weigh between 400 and 700 lb and females between 260 and 400 lb. The males can reach 8 or 9 feet in length and the females between 7 and 9 feet. Tigers generally have brown or black stripes with orange fur, with the exception of the white tiger (which is not a subspecies of tiger, but a Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) with low skin pigmentation). Like finger-prints are unique to humans, tiger stripes are unique to tigers and can be used to identify individuals.
The world’s population of tigers has been reduced by 95 percent as a result of hunting and poaching for their body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine.
There are only around 3,200 tigers left on the planet.
Of its nine main sub-species, three – the Bali, Caspian and Java tigers – are now extinct, while there has been no reliable siting of a fourth, the South China tiger, for 25 years.