Raising Tiger Cubs

Raising Cubs - Page 1&2: Mortality & General Safety | 3,4&5: Learning To Hunt

Weaning tiger cubs:

For the first three months cubs are kept confined and they are rarely left unattended except when the female must hunt.

Cubs nurse for three to six months and at about two months meat will be on the menu too.

Weaning is a gradual process, starting off with the tigress feeding her cubs for about 70% of the daylight hours. This reduces over the next 10 days to 60% and then drops down to 30% once cubs are about 40-days-old. By the time a litter is a 90-days-old under 10% of the daylight hours are occupied with suckling and cubs consume up to 1 kg of meat each day.

Some suggestion has been made that tigresses provide regurgitated meat for their cubs. Indeed, a great many animals do this, including lionesses. At this stage no evidence has been found to substantiate the claim in tigers.

Young tigers start practicing their hunting skills early on; by pouncing on each other, their mother's tail, or through stalking small animals.

Cub gait:

At this young age cubs are not catlike in the way they walk; their gait is more similar to that of a puppy. 

How tiger cubs learn to hunt (Stage 1):

A tigress spends the next year teaching the important art of hunting. Initially the cubs learn simply through watching their mother. To make it easier for them to feed she may peel back the thick hide to expose the fatty tissue beneath.

(Continued Page 4)

Raising Cubs - Page 1&2: Mortality & General Safety | 3,4&5: Learning To Hunt

Mating | Early Days | Raising Cubs | Hunting & Captive Feeding | Water Play | Sleeping | Tree Climbing
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Photography With Thanks To Kurt Knoll (Photo 1)
Denise McQuillen (Photos 2-3)
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