Habitat: Lowland to mountain forests
Description: The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of the tiger subspecies. This smaller size allows it to move through the forest quickly. Its stripes are also thinner than other tigers, assisting with camouflage in the shadows. Unlike other cats, tigers like to swim. Sumatran Tigers have partial webbing between their toes, which makes them very fast swimmers. Sumatran Tigers also have a white ‘beard’.
Diet: Tigers are carnivores and will eat whatever they can catch including fish, crocodiles and fowl, with the most common larger prey being wild pigs and deer.
In the wild: The tiger is a solitary animal. A male will control a territory that contains a number of females. Tigers mark their territories by spraying scent on trees or bushes.
Threats: Tigers have been poached for their body parts which are used in traditional medicine. Habitat destruction is also a major threat to their survival. There are now estimated to be fewer than 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild.
At Perth Zoo: The major zoos in Australia are involved in a regional breeding program for Sumatran Tigers. Perth Zoo’s Sumatran Tigers can be seen in the Asian Rainforest. Perth Zoo supports the conservation of Sumatran Tigers in the wild through its fundraising program, Wildlife Conservation Action.
Did you know? Of the eight subspecies of tiger that once roamed the Earth, only five are left. The Javan, Bali and Caspian Tigers all became extinct in the twentieth century. In total, there are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild.
Sumatran Tigers are excellent swimmers. When they hunt, they often chase hoofed animals into the water. Because of their hoofs, the animals can’t swim very well and are easier to catch.
Hear a Tiger Chuffing:
Hear a Tiger Snarling: