Scientifically known as Panthera tigris, the tiger is the largest in the cat family. With their big, ferocious and cunning nature, the species have a unique hunting skill that ensures survival. Unfortunately, tigers remain threatened with extinction despite the reports from the World Wildlife Fund indicating that their numbers are soaring again. Here, we discuss some ferocious tiger facts to help you learn more about the big cats… the biggest cats.

1. A Tiger Once Tracked and Killed a Poacher out of “Vengeance”

Bengal tiger

Scientists have it that tigers are among the most vengeful creatures. In a famous example, in 1977, a poacher known as Vladimir Markov shot and injured a tiger and took its catch. Interestingly, the same big cat tracked Markov’s cabin, destroyed everything that had its scent, and waited for the perpetrator. As soon as the poacher arrived, the tiger mauled and killed him.

2. Hannah Twynnoy was the First Woman to Be Killed by a Tiger in Britain

Hannah Twynnoy, an employee at the White Lion Inn, which is an exhibition for wild beasts, is believed to be the first person to be killed by a tiger in Britain. On October 23, 1703, the Tiger broke its fixing on the wall and plunged at Hannah, tearing her into pieces. It is said that the keeper had warned the victim several times not to tease the tiger.

3. A Tiger Can Beat a Lion in a 1vs1 Scenario

Although lions are widely regarded as the kings of the jungle, there are instances where they have been beaten by tigers. Scientists agree that tigers are faster, more agile and even more ferocious than lions. In a 1vs1 scenario between a tiger and a lion, the former has the upper hand.

4. A Deer Sees Tigers as Green

The deer, one of the most common prey for tigers, can’t see the color orange. Therefore, a tiger’s orange variant makes blending with the green shrubs and foliage easier. Scientists have also alleged that orange was the next best thing for tigers because mammals can’t produce green fur.

5. Tigers are Very Patient

brown tiger

Compared to other hunters, tigers are quite patient; they can stalk their prey for up to 30 minutes. Instead of running straight at prey, tigers usually move slowly and quietly towards their prey. Because of their patience, the big cats kill about two animals a week, so they eat to fill their stomachs when the opportunity arises.

6. The Champawat Tigress has the Highest Number of Human Kills

In India, there was a man-eating tigress called the Champawat Tiger. She started her killing spree in Nepal, where she ended the lives of 200 men and women, before being driven out to North India, where she killed 236 more people. Champawat was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for her exploits as the Tiger with the highest number of kills.

7. A Tiger, A Bear, and A Lion Became Best Friends in Captivity

Three animals rescued from a drug dealer’s house in Atlanta in 2001 have exhibited strong friendship. The Tiger, bear, and Lion had spent their first young lives together, which grew their bond despite being of different breeds. After being taken to the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, the three remained close friends for 15 years.

8. There is a Tiger Species that Preys on Bears

The Amur and Bengal tigers are among the few predators that prey on bears. They target the sloth and Asiatic black bears, respectively.

9. Koreans Say “When Tigers Used to Smoke” Instead of “Once Upon a Time”

In Korea, most stories start with “when tigers used to smoke” instead of “once upon a time”, as most parts of the globe do. The phrase is used to symbolize a prolonged period. There is also a pop group from Birmingham, U.K., called “When Tigers Used to Smoke.”

10. There are Blue Tigers

Although many tiger species are orange, some, such as the Maltese tigers, are blue – they have a bluish fur with dark grey stripes and are native to China. The blue tigers are listed as critically endangered, even though most enthusiasts suspect they are already extinct. No one has spotted the species since the late 1980s.

11. Indians and Bangladeshis Used to Wear Masks Behind Their Heads to Prevent Tiger Attacks

At a time when tiger attacks were rampant in the regions, Bangladeshis and Indians used to wear masks disguised as human faces at the back of their heads, so the animals thought they were being watched. The Sundarbans is home to over 100 tiger species.

12. The Siberian Tiger is the National Animal of South Korea

tiger lying on brown rock

The Siberian Tiger is the national animal of South Korea. The big cat has been critical to the citizens’ culture for a long time. The white tiger is one of the official mascots of the Winter Olympics, synonymous with the region. Unfortunately, there are no tigers left in South Korea.

13. The US Has More Tigers in Captivity Than Those in the Wild

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are 5,000 privately owned tigers in the US, whereas there are 3,900 tigers in the wild. The report further indicates that the ones in captivity are distributed in theme parks, breeding facilities, and people’s backyards.

14. There Is A World Tiger Day

Every July 29, people celebrate World Tiger Day in honor of the big cats. Enthusiasts take the day to raise awareness of endangered species and discourage activities threatening their existence.

15. A Tiger’s Tongue Can Lick A Human’s Skin Off

brown and black tiger showing tongue

A tiger’s tongue is so coarse that it can lick a human’s skin off in just a few swings, thanks to their filiform papillae. Interestingly, the licks are only dangerous if the animals are determined to hurt; friendly licks are nowhere near dangerous.

16. A Tiger’s Leg is So Powerful, They Can Remain Standing Even After They Die

Tigers have the strongest legs out of all cats. So much so that the big cats can remain standing even after they die. And, by the way, the hind legs of a tiger are longer than their front counterparts.

17. Each Tiger’s Stripe Pattern is Unique

Just like a human’s fingerprints, a tiger’s stripe patterns are unique. Also its not just the tiger’s fur that has stripes; they are embedded even on the skin underneath.

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Animals & Plants, Science,

Last Update: February 27, 2024