Bali Tiger -- Panthera tigris balica

Bali - Page 1: In The Wild | 2: Subspecies Description | 3: Weight & Length Figures

 Bali tiger description:

This tiger was the smallest of all the subspecies. Comparatively, it was very similar in size to the leopard and only about half the size of the Amur, (or Siberian), tiger. Even the largest Balinese males did not exceed 100 kilograms. Today, the smallest living subspecies is the Sumatran.

Balinese tigers had short, dense fur which was a deep orange and carried darker and fewer stripes than the other subspecies. Stripes were wide and tended to branch out; between them small black spots appeared. Light areas were a clear white and there were unusual bars on the head.

The Balinese tiger skull shown on this page can be identified due to differences in the teeth and nasal bone which distinguish it from the other subspecies.

Photographic records of the Bali tiger:

For many years it was considered no photographs of this subspecies existed. The ones on these pages are considered the only known genuine images.

The first photograph,  (page 1), surfaced amongst the papers of the hunter who shot it in 1925. Little more is known.

Much more is known about the example at the top of this page. Trapped and killed on the 3rd November 1911, the hunt was recorded by Baron Oscar Vojnich, in his book, "On the East Indian Group of Islands":

"In the western part of Bali Island, along the northern shore, in the mountains of Goendoel, we discovered tiger footprints...

"On November 2nd, while collecting twigs to be used for constructing a fence around the traps, the carcass of a freshly killed kidang (a roe-like animal) was encountered by the people. The trap was set in front of the kidang, in the thicket. Munaut was almost certain that the tiger would be caught in another day. I was much less convinced, as the many human tracks could have warned the tiger. But no, it came to feed on the slightly smelly joint, and the trap caught one of its forelegs, just below the wrist."

Museum specimens of the Bali tiger:

The Balinese tiger was a rarity in the wild. Today, it is also a rarity in museums, with only a handful of preserved specimens existing throughout the world. In total, eight skulls and five skins are in various museum collections.

The collection of the Hungarian National Museum of Natural History contains a skin, skull and some bones from a young adult tiger. Obtained in 1977, the skin is worn and faded, the result of having been used as a floor rug. It is thought this tiger was killed in 1933 by a Dutch doctor living on Java.

Bali - Page 1: In The Wild | 2: Subspecies Description | 3: Weight & Length Figures

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Photography With Thanks To The Hungarian National Museum Of Natural History (Photo 2).
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