How Tigers Hunt

Tigers are loners. They live by marking out large territories and are careful to keep away from other tigers. A male’s territory is likely to intersect with several females, but the males never share the same territory. Mating is really the only reason to spend time together.

Tigers are carnivores. They eat fresh meat. They are not scavengers so they need to constantly be on the prowl for their next meal. The days are spent resting, but from sunset to dawn you will find these magnificent creatures looking for their next meal. They always seem to have one eye open looking for the next opportunity.

They stalk their prey, but they don’t truly chase them. They have extremely pliable shoulder blades. This allows the animal to crouch lowly and move along similar to a snake, a really big snake. They get as close as they can and then attack. In fact it is more of a pounce. (Think of watching a domesticated cat attack a mouse) They rarely run more than nine to twenty five meters to catch their prey. They just don’t have the endurance for a chase. When they perform their rush them normal grab the animal by the back of the neck and dig the claws into the shoulders and chest. The kill is normally made by biting the neck. This compresses the trachea and causes the animal to suffocate. If they miss the prey in the first 25 meters they consider the hunt unsuccessful and move on.

Sometimes with larger animals they bite their tendons so they can not run and then suffocate the animals.

After the kill is made the tiger drags the meal to cover. There are many scavengers and the tiger doesn’t like to share his meal. They need every scrap for strength and survival. Considerable strength is shown as they often drag animals larger than themselves.

How often do tigers have to repeat the hunting process? They can eat up to sixty pounds of meat per day. That accounts for a lot of animals. If they don’t have a successful hunt they don’t eat.

How does the tiger decide what is on the menu? The real answer is they learn to adapt to whatever they can find. They’ve been known to eat wild pigs, birds, deer, leopards, bears, monkeys, birds and bears. Any meat they can kill they will eat.

As habitat grows smaller the tiger may have to change the way they hunt to survive in an ever changing environment. Solitary life may have to become a way of the past. They may have to share habitat and hunting partners.