Tigers: The Largest Living Cat

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The tiger (Panthera tigris) is one of the best-known large mammals and the largest living cat. However, their numbers in the wild are decreasing significantly. According to Seidensticker et al. (2010), there are three subspecies becoming extinct since 1940s. Particularly, Panthera tigris sumatrae or also known as Sumatran tiger is now listed as critically endangered, with around 300 individuals proposed to be living in the wild (Seidensticker et al., 2010). Nowadays, tigers are facing serious conflict with humans over resources in their natural habitat as human activity largely causing their decline. In addition to in situ efforts, wildlife parks and zoos play an important role in the conservation of this species. Nowadays, it is believed that there are more tigers in captivity including wildlife parks, zoos, and circuses compared to in the wild (Szokalski, 2012). Thus, it appears opportune to explore what is the best practices for captive management in zoos, in order to obtain a greater understanding of how to improve their lives in captivity.
San Diego Zoo do not feed their tigers every day. The tigers fed on a three-day cycle. They were fed every third day, rather than every consecutive day. Since tigers are obligate carnivores, they require meat in diet. Usually, tigers consumed wild pig and sambar. The adult tiger consume on average 18-27 kg meat, whereas female tiger requires about 5-6kg meat per day (San Diego Zoo, 2013). The zoo keepers vary the way food is
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