Tigers

Tynnye (born 1995) Tynnye is a Bengal and is our smallest tiger. Tynnye’s nick name is “Tynnye Whinny” because she whines a lot when she wants attention.  She has also been seen performing the moon walk with all four feet. She is the mother of Mohan and Rajah but doesn’t like them too much.  She doesn’t see them as her children they way human mothers do; she sees them as competition and infringing on her territory.  That is why we have to keep panels up between their cages.

Pauline (born 1995) Pauline is a Bengal and is Tynnye’s sister and littermate. She has a sweet disposition but gets a little jealous when Tynnye is out playing in the habitat area.  (She also seems to have something against large-lens cameras on tripods.) She likes to swim in the pond and can be seen there in many of our pictures. Pauline and Kimar get along very well together but can’t go out in the habitat area because neither of them is spayed or neutered.

Sierra (born 1995) Sierra, also a Siberian, is Gunny’s sister and littermate.  She has a very short tail, which is not natural for a tiger.  When she was young, it was bitten in play by another cub. It became infected and wasn’t healing properly, so it had to be removed. In the wild, it would be a challenge for her to hunt with precision because the tail is vital to balance when chasing prey and leaping. In captivity, hunting is not an issue for her.

Kimar (born April 2006) Kimar is our male white Bengal tiger (all white tigers are Bengals).  He came from Safari Zoological Park in Caney, KS.  That sanctuary was looking to downsize their animal population and was gracious enough to trust Kimar to us. The first white tiger on record was a direct result of inbreeding.  It is a recessive mutation of the gene for normal orange.  Because of this, many white tigers have skeletal abnormalities and are not as healthy as orange tigers. However, they are unique and therefore draw the attention of the public.  A white tiger would have a difficult time in the wild because its color pattern would thwart its efforts to hide in the shadows.

Mohan and Rajah (born July 30, 2005) Mohan and Rajah are the cubs of Tynnye and Gunny so they are half Bengal and half Siberian.  They are both neutered males and are the only tigers born at Cedar Cove.  They stayed with their mother Tynnye for about five weeks, and then they were raised by humans and fed by bottle.  In captivity, it is important that they bond with humans, and that is facilitated when the humans feed them and spend time with them.  In the wild, tigers will stay with their mother for about two years as she teaches them the skill of hunting.  At some point they become competition for their mother, and she forces them to leave her territory.  After they leave their mothers, siblings may stay together for a short while but will eventually split up to find their own territory.  Because Mohan and Raja are neutered and have lived together their entire life, they most likely will not become aggressive with each other beyond their usual “sibling rivalry” antics.  Mohan is very bold and adventurous.  He is the first to find trouble. Rajah is more than happy to assist Mohan in whatever trouble he finds, and will occasionally find his own trouble too.

Tigers Overview

Tigers are considered one of the “big cats,”  and indeed the biggest. There are many characteristics that differentiate “big cats” from “small cats” in addition to their size.  For example, cougars are considered to be one of the “small cats” even though their size is similar to that of a leopard, which is considered a “big cat.” One audible difference is that big cats roar and small cats purr.  This is due to a physiological difference in the structure of their throats.  Tigers communicate by “chuffing,” a noise made by blowing air out of the nose.

 

Types of Tigers at Cedar Cove: We have two kinds of tigers at the park: Bengals and Siberians. The Bengals come from the hot climate of the countries of Asia.  They live in grass and bushes which create cooling shadows to protect them from the sun.  The Bengal’s stripes are thin and close together and their orange color is a deeper shade than Siberians.  Their color and the pattern help them to blend into their surroundings.  The Siberians come from the cold climate of Siberia, and a few remain off the coast of the Sea of Japan.  There they live among trees, so their stripes are wider and further apart than the Bengal.  Siberians are larger than Bengals because they need to stay warm in the cold climate, and their prey is larger.  Siberians can stay warm down to 30 degrees below zero.

 

Tigers' Social Lives: Except for a mother and her cubs, tigers live and hunt alone, so they are considered “solitary” animals, but that really doesn’t mean they are not social. Scent marks from spraying, scat, and rubbing along with visual signposts, such as scratch marks, allow tigers to track other tigers in the area, and they are said to be able to identify individuals. A female tiger knows the other females whose territories are around hers. Females know their overlapping males (and vice versa) and probably know when a new male takes over. All tigers can identify passing strangers. So tigers actually have a rich social life; they just prefer to socialize from a distance.

 

Tigers and Water: The tiger is one of the few members of the feline species that likes water.  Tigers will go in it just for pleasure.  Cedar Cover tigers love to be sprayed with the hose in hot weather and will occasionally swim in the pond.  They prefer cooler temperatures over the hot summer days that we have in Kansas.  They will stay out in temperatures of 20 degrees but go in their dens if it gets above 85-90 degrees.

 

Feeding: Feeding in the wild, tigers are successful an average of 1 in 15 attempts to kill prey.  When they are successful, they will gorge themselves and then sleep for up to 18 hours.  Wild tigers prefer to eat hoofed animals such as deer, buffalo, pigs, and cattle, although they will also eat monkeys, birds, rabbits, and fish.  Their canine teeth can grow up to three inches long, capable of crunching through the spine of any creature on Earth.

 

We keep our tigers on a similar feeding schedule eating mostly beef, pork, chicken and venison prepared by our volunteers.  In the summer they eat every three days, consuming approximately 25 to 30 pounds of raw meat, and in the winter they eat every two days, from 35 to 40 pounds of raw meat.  They are obligate carnivores and do not process raw vegetables or grain.

 

Danger of Extinction Both subspecies are endangered.  There are an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Bengals left in the wild and 300-500 Siberians. The Indo Chinese and Malaysian tigers each have fewer than 100 members left.  There are three subspecies of tigers already extinct in the wild: the Bali, Javan, and Caspian.  The South Chinese tiger is suspected to be extinct, but that has yet to be confirmed.

 

It is predicted that in the next 10 to 15 years there will be no tigers left in the wild.  They will be found only in preserves, zoos, and sanctuaries. The biggest reason for their predicted extinction is habitat loss due to encroachment by humans.  Humans are cutting down the jungles and forests.  Poaching is the second cause of their endangerment.  Some people will still pay a lot of money for various tiger parts; everything from the blood to the bones is used for medicinal purposes by those who believe in the power of the tiger to heal.


In Memoriam

Gunny (born 1995) Gunny was a Siberian male who had not been neutered.  He was the father of Mohan and Rajah. You could see the difference in his stripe pattern and size in comparison to the female Tynnye.  Gunny ruled the sanctuary, and he didn't like his two sons.  In fact, he defended his territory from them with vigor to the point of tearing down a tree from frustration at not being able get to them. He lived a full and healthy life under the care of Cedar Cove volunteers, who took turns comforting him during his final days,  and is buried at the park.