Sumatran Tigers - Everything you need to know! The Big Cat Sanctuary

What is a Sumatran tiger?

The Sumatran tiger is one of the remaining six subspecies of tiger and is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra (hence the name!). They are a carnivorous mammal and have the distinct striped fur appearance commonly associated with tigers. They are solitary animals and only come together to mate.


What family do Sumatran tigers belong to?

Sumatran tigers belong to the Felidae family.


What does a Sumatran tiger look like?

The smallest and darkest of all tiger species, the Sumatran tiger tends to be more bearded and maned than other types of tiger. Although they have the distinctly tiger stripes across their body, their stripes are closer together than on other tigers, which helps them to camouflage easier into their surroundings.


What noise does the Sumatran tiger make?

As with other tiger species, the Sumatran tigers are known to make a noise informally called ‘chuffing’.


How big are Sumatran tigers?

They are the smallest of all tiger species. It’s thought that this might be as they evolved in a relatively isolated habitat. Males range in length between an average of 2.2m to 2.5m and weigh between 100 kg to 140kg. Females, often smaller than males, will measure around 2.15m to 2.3m in length and weigh between 75 kg to 110kg.


How fast can a Sumatran tiger run?

When running they can reach speeds of up to 40mph.


What do Sumatran tigers eat?

Sumatran tigers will often hunt deer and wild pigs, but they have also been known to be an ‘opportunistic predator’ meaning that they will hunt on what is available to them at the time. They hunt at night and will often make only one large kill per week.


What is a group of Sumatran tigers called?

A group of tigers is called a streak or an ambush.


How many cubs do Sumatran tigers have?

Litters of 2 to 3 cubs are the most average, however Sumatran tigers can have between 1 to 6 cubs per litter.


What is the Sumatran tiger’s natural habitat?

Sumatran tigers live in small populations across Sumatra. They live within various habitats, from mountain forests to coastal lowland forests. Many of the areas inhabited by these tigers are protected areas due to their dangerously low population. They prefer hill forests and lowlands but can occasionally be found within human-dominated areas and non-forest habitats.


How many Sumatran tigers are left in the wild?

Due to a declining population it is estimated that there are only 400 to 600 tigers remaining in the wild.


How long do Sumatran tigers live in the wild?

Sumatran tigers will, on average, live to between 12 to 15 years old.


How long do Sumatran tigers live in captivity?

Sumatran tigers can live longer in captivity than in the wild, reaching ages of up to 15 years old.


Does the Sumatran tiger have any predators?

They have no natural predators, however human conflict and interference pose a threat.


What dangers do Sumatran tigers face?

Conflicts with humans and illegal poaching pose a threat to the remaining Sumatran tiger population. Hunters target these tigers for fur and other body parts to sell. Aside from these threats, they are also at risk from habitat destruction, often a result of expansion of human-controlled areas including palm oil plantations.


Why are Sumatran tigers endangered?

Unfortunately Sumatran tigers are classified as a critically endangered species on the IUCN red list. This is largely due to the loss of habitat and a result of hunting.


How can we help to save the Sumatran tiger?

The biggest actions that we, as humans, can do to protect this species is conserve their remaining habitat. Preventing further habitat loss is vital to helping their population grow and prevent population numbers from declining. Donations to organisations that provide conservation initiatives is a great way to help these animals.