Get ready for Global Tiger Day 2016 on Friday, July 29 in celebration of these incredible, endangered animals! At the Safari Park, Tiger Trail will celebrate our nine Sumatran tigers with enrichment releases, keeper talks, training demonstrations, and conservation displays throughout the day. We would love to have you join us in support of our conservation efforts to save these magnificent animals. To help get you in a tiger frame of mind, here are some fun and fascinating tiger facts:
1. A tiger’s roar can be heard more than one mile away.
2. Tiger fossil remains found in China are believed to be two million years old.
3. Tigers have the largest canine teeth of any living cat.
4. The average tiger’s bite exerts a force of 1,050 pounds per square inch (a lion’s bite exerts only 600 pounds per square inch).
5. A tiger’s stripes are skin deep: if you shave a tiger’s fur, it will still have stripes.
6. Tigers are great swimmers and have been seen six miles out to sea.
7. Tigers have eyes with round pupils, unlike domestic cats, which have slitted pupils that allow them to see in dim light to hunt at night, but not be blinded by sunlight during the day. Tigers, however, are crepuscular—they hunt at dawn and dusk—and sleep during the day. So their pupils are specialized for low-light settings: big pupils maximize light entering the eye for night-time hunting. Their night vision is six times better than ours.
8. Tigers are territorial, and are solitary in their natural habitat.
9. The world has lost 97 percent of its wild tigers in the last 100 years; 93 percent of their former tiger habitat range has been taken over by humans over the past 150 years.
10. There are six subspecies of tiger alive in the world today: Sumatran, Amur, Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, and South China. Three subspecies: Bali, Javan, and Caspian are already extinct due to habitat loss and poaching.
Elise Newman is a keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Read her previous blog, Older Gentleman Seeks Classy Lady.