In the Vast Forests of Siberia the Biggest of the Big Cats Struggles to Survive
by Virginia Quach, age 12
Somewhere in the Siberian forests, roams the largest predatory cat in the world, the Siberian tiger.
The average male Siberian tiger is usually 400-600 pounds and 12 feet long. Because of poachers, these tigers are endangered. Scientists estimate that only 200 are left in the wild. About 200 more live in captivity.
Both male and female Siberian tigers mark their territory by scratching or urinating on trees. The females also do this when they want to mate. Cubs can hunt before they are a year old, kill large prey at around two years old, and leave their mother when they’re three to five years old.
Hunting can be rough for these big cats. Only one out of ten hunting trips is successful because food can be scarce. When food is scarce, tigers may travel many miles to survive. One scientist tracked a Siberian tiger and found that it traveled 620 miles in 22 days to find food.
These tigers have many techniques for hunting, for example, biting in various places depending on the size of the prey. They eat deer, wild pig, and sometimes fish.
Scientists are working hard to make sure these magnificent cats survive in the wild.
[Source: Simpson Street Free Press]