The tiger is the largest of the big cats and is regarded as one of the world's charismatic megafauna. Numerous travellers enjoy seeing the elusive and beautiful animal in its natural habitat.

Understand edit

Tigers are the largest feline species, and native to much of Asia, ranging from the Siberian tiger of the frigid Russian Far East to the Malayan tiger of the hot and humid tropics in Southeast Asia. They are apex predators.

In 1900, the global tiger population was estimated to have been at 100,000, which declined to around 3,200 in 2010. Since then, due to conservation efforts the number of tigers in the wild has steadily increased to just under 4,000. Despite this, the tiger is still critically endangered, with many populations and subspecies vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and poaching.

Destinations edit

Map of Tigers

Stay safe edit

See also: Dangerous animals

While tigers rarely stalk and hunt humans, their sharp claws, sharp teeth, powerful jaws, explosive temper, territorial nature, and their incredible stamina and strength make them extremely fearsome and dangerous.

Do not urinate in their territory; tigers may believe that you are challenging their ownership of their territory, as they themselves mark their territories by urinating.

If you come face to face with a tiger, remain calm and back away slowly from them. Trying to run away from a tiger or showing a tiger that you're afraid of them will invite them to attack you. Making noises that a tiger isn't accustomed to may make a tiger feel less secure and it would most likely leave you alone.

Do not hit, yell at, throw objects at, or antagonise a tiger in any way; tigers can respond to aggression with aggression, and people have been killed for doing this.

If you come across a tiger that appears to be feeble, weak, in need of help, or old, do not approach it; you may end up making yourself their meal or a target of their aggression. Always give such tigers a wide berth.

As tempting as it may be, do not approach or interact with tiger cubs! As is the case with most mothers in the animal kingdom, mother tigers will readily defend their cubs against any threats. Although it is rare to spot tiger cubs in the wild, vacate the area immediately if you see one.

Respect edit

See also: Animal ethics

It is a good idea to research the reserves you are thinking about travelling to make sure that the tour is eco-friendly and benefits the local people. India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan have put in efforts to conserve and grow their tiger populations and are generally the recommended places to travel. Avoid going to places where tigers are kept in captivity, drugged and are in terrible condition. Countries such as China and Thailand have developed a reputation for subjecting its tigers to abuse and letting visitors hug or take selfies with the tigers while they are sedated.

See also edit

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