Just for Fun: Terrific Tails & Tales To Celebrate International Tiger Day
This week, we're sharing some of our favourite tales about tigers (and their tails) to celebrate International Tiger Day. Plus, find out how Stikins name labels can help your tiger cubs to keep their kit safe in the jungle or the playground.
Terrific Tails & Tales For International Tiger Day
A century ago, there were around 100,000 tigers in the wild. By 2010, there were only 3,000 or 4,000. So, thirteen governments and the WWF signed up to the TX2 Goal, which aimed to double wild tiger numbers by 2022 (the Year of the Tiger).
To celebrate the TX2 project, we’ve picked some of our favourite facts about tigers.
- Based on fossils found in China, tigers are probably around 2 million years old.
- There are six subspecies; Sumatran, Amur, Bengal, Indochinese, South China, and Malayan. Bengal tigers account for around 2,500-3,000 of wild tigers. Sadly, the Bali, Caspian, and Javan subspecies of tiger are already extinct.
- Generally speaking, tigers are the largest wild cats in the world. Only ligers have grown to a larger size; a liger is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger. Siberian tigers are the largest subspecies, growing to 3.3 metres in length and weighing over 400 kg.
- According to a 2013 study, domestic house cats share 95.6% of their DNA with tigers.
- Tigers are nocturnal; like most cats, they are big sleepers and sleep up to 18 hours a day. At night they hunt and patrol their territory. Tigers are solitary and rarely form groups in the wild; the name for a group of tigers is a streak or ambush.
- Tigers travel 6-12 miles during a night’s hunting and are hypercarnivores (over 70% of their food is meat). They primarily hunt deer but, as opportunistic predators, they also eat antelope, buffalo, cows, boars, birds, rodents, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and even elephants and bears. If food is scarce, they will eat fruits and berries. Tigers are only successful on one in every ten hunts; fortunately, they can survive for two weeks without food as long as they have access to water.
- Tiger stripes provide camouflage in the bush, tall grass, and bamboo thickets. This means they can stalk their prey, getting close enough to be at striking distance. They then sprint in for the kill; tigers can reach up to 40 miles per hour but only over short distances. Most of their prey can actually outrun them.
- Unlike most cats, tigers love water and will use lakes, pools, and rivers to cool off. They are great swimmers; one tiger swam 18.6 miles in a single day! Sumatran tigers are especially good swimmers as they have webbed feet.
- Tigers have amazing bodies:
- Tigers have the longest canines of any cat species and they grow to 10 cm long.
- Tiger tongues are covered in small, sharp, backwards-facing bristles called “papillae”, which enable tigers to strip skin, fur, and feathers off their prey (even right down to the bone!).
- Tigers have antiseptic saliva and so, if they get hurt, they will lick their wounds to prevent infection.
- Tiger claws grow up to 12 cm and are retractable; this, along with their soft toe pads, helps them to stalk their prey silently. It also helps them to climb trees in the pursuit of leopards and monkeys!
- The tiger is thought to have the heaviest punch of all the big cat species.
- Tigers have extremely strong legs; they can leap over 8 meters (26 feet) and jump up to 5 meters (16 feet) vertically.
- A tiger’s tail is about 90cm (3 feet) long and helps with balance when making tight turns.
- Tigers have the largest brain of any carnivore, except the polar bear.
- While tigers have worse daytime vision than humans, their night vision is 5-6 times better than ours due to a special layer of reflective tissue behind the retina.
- A tiger’s hearing is five times better than ours.
- Tigers have a vast – and mighty – vocal repertoire. They grunt, growl, roar, moan, snarl, hiss and gasp. They even imitate the calls of other animal like deer and bears. A tiger’s roar can be heard nearly 2 miles (3km) away but they cannot purr. Instead, they “chuff” or “prusten” by closing their mouths and blowing through their nostrils.
- The white spots behind a tiger's ears are called “ocelli”. They may exist for communication purposes or to act as false eyes to fool prey and predators. Our favourite theory is that they help cubs keep track of their mothers in the jungle.
- Tiger stripes are unique to each individual and, like most cat species, extend down to their skin. South China tigers have fewest stripes and Sumatran tigers have the most. Tigers are usually orange with black stripes (Siberian tigers have brown stripes) but can be white with black or brown stripes, golden with cinnamon stripes, or (very rarely) black.
- It's been said that tiger urine smells like buttered popcorn!
Keep Track Of Your Cubs (And Their Kit) With Stikins Name Labels
Our stick on name labels will help keep even the most rambunctious cubs’ kit safe in the densest of jungles (or school classrooms). While they might not have a tiger’s stripes, they are super strong and super tough. We use a unique adhesive, which means Stikins can be used to label fabric and non-fabric items. So, you can use one pack of labels for school uniform, shoes and bags, books and stationery, lunch boxes and water bottles, and all those other essential extras.
Our adhesive creates strong adhesive bonds, which will survive washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, kitchen sinks, and the day to day rough and tumble of life in the jungle (or playground).
Simply peel each label off the backing sheet and apply firmly onto an item. You should apply Stikins name labels onto the wash-care label of fabric items (not directly onto the fabric). In shoes, they work best on the side wall or beneath the tongue. We recommend avoiding the area beneath the heel where the print will wear away.
Stikins are available to order online or by phone. We offer packs of 30, 60, 90, or 120 name labels with a 10% discount when you order three or more packs. Delivery is free and uses Royal Mail’s first class service. All orders despatch on the same or next working day as you order.