Feb 15, 2022 - News

3 big cat facts in honor of the Year of the Tiger

An Amur tiger rests in a cave

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's male tiger, Jupiter. Photo courtesy of the zoo

We're two weeks into the Chinese lunar calendar's Year of the Tiger, so we asked the Columbus Zoo for some facts about the majestic big cats.

🐯 There are six tiger subspecies and all of them are endangered. The zoo has three Amur tigers in its Asia Quest region.

  • The Cincinnati Zoo keeps Malayan tigers — not Bengals, as one might assume.

🌳 Each tiger has its own individual stripes, which help it blend into tall grasses and trees to hunt.

  • They only succeed 10% of the time. But when they do, they can kill with one bite (not surprising, with 3-inch-long canine teeth!).

👃 Scent glands allow tigers to communicate silently. They know the sex, age and reproductive status of neighboring tigers by markings left in their territory.

Of note: People born in a Year of the Tiger are said to be self-assured and strong, but also brash and unpredictable, per the Chinese Language Institute.

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