Cubs - Page 1:Pregnancy
| 2&3: Birth & Newborns | 4:
Captive Breeding | 5: Hand Raising
Pregnancy in the tiger:
Pregnancy in tigers is not obvious to the eye for the first two and half months, but in the last 10-12 days becomes detectable by the bulging abdominal area.
During the later part of pregnancy a wild tigress is particularly vulnerable to attack and starvation. Unlike the lioness, the tigress has no one to help hunt for food and evolution has helped overcome her vulnerabilities by making the duration of pregnancy brief.
The gestation period for tigers is 100 days, but ranges from 93 to 111 days. After this time she will give birth to a litter of between 1 and 7 blind cubs, the norm being 2 to 4.
In two extreme cases 7 cubs were recorded as being born in captivity, while a tigress was sighted in the wild with 5 cubs, all of similar age; these may well be record births.
Preparation for birth:
Wild females give birth once every 2 to 2.5 years. The interval between births is approximately three to four years, though should a litter of newborns die, a tigress is quite capable of producing another litter within only five months.
The cubs will be born in an area of heavy cover; this may be a cave, long grass, thick bushes, an overhanging rock, or a hollow log. Anywhere that won't flood, provides protection, shelter and a good degree of concealment will suit the purpose.
With Thanks To Lisa Purcell