Sumatran tigers

Sumatran tiger

Panthera tigris sumatrae
CR

IUCN status
Critically endangered
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Sumatran tiger

« The Sumatran tiger has an almost insatiable appetite! »

The smallest of the tigers

And what an advantage it is.

There are 6 subspecies of tigers. But how do you recognise the Sumatran tiger? Three characteristics differentiate it from its cousins.
First, this subspecies is the only one with large white patches of hair on its cheeks. Second, its coat is much darker, allowing it to pass through the vegetation of its habitat unnoticed. Finally, the Sumatran tiger is the smallest of all the tigers still living on our planet. This feature proves particularly advantageous when moving through the dense forests of Sumatra, the island to which it is endemic.

Sumatran tiger

The Beauval Nature association

For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.

Sumatran tiger and cub

Jambi and Asu, purr-fect together

Jambi, the tigress, is a queen of camouflage. She often hides amongst the vegetation in her enclosure. Be patient if you wish to see her; her beauty will be a just reward. 

Asu, her companion, is very curious: he likes to observe visitors and seduce them with his piercing gaze.

Sumatran tigers
Sumatran tiger
Sumatran tiger
Sumatran tiger
Beauval Nature

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Critically endangered

Learn more about the species

Range
Asia
  • Diet
    Carnivore
  • Gestation period
    3 to 4 months
  • Litter size
    1 to 7 young
  • Habitat
    Tropical forests
Sumatran tiger family life
Like almost all cats, except for the lion, the Sumatran tiger is a somewhat solitary animal. It may however tolerate the presence of females on its territory. But certainly not another male! After gestation, the female raises the young alone. When male offspring approach sexual maturity, at around 2 or 3 years old, they will have to look for a new territory.
A terrifying predator, but a poor hunter
The Sumatran tiger has an almost insatiable appetite! It generally feeds on ungulates, such as wild boars, Malayan tapirs, and deer, and sometimes on smaller animals including fowl, monkeys, and even fish. It can tackle species much larger than itself on its own. Sumatran tigers can even be seen hunting young rhinos or elephants! Despite the power of its muscles, and the efficiency of its claws and canines, it does not manage to feed itself on a regular basis. The Sumatran tiger returns from a hunt empty-handed 2 times out of 3 on average!
A good communicator
Although it mainly marks its territory with its scent, the Sumatran tiger is quite inventive when it comes to communicating with other tigers. For example, the limits of a tiger’s hunting area are advertised through scratches that it carves into the surrounding trees. The tiger will also occasionally scratch the ground for the same reason. The tiger also has several facial expressions for showing off, intimidating, or threatening other tigers. Finally, the Sumatran tiger has an impressive vocal repertoire which can serve as a warning, an indication of submission, or simply as an expression of its mood.

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