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The Amazing Siberian Tiger

Donna has been a cat parent and writer for many years and her passion is to share her love for cats with others.

The Amur Tiger – Panthera Tigris Altaica

The Amur Tiger – Panthera Tigris Altaica

The Amazing Siberian Tiger

The Siberian Tiger is an extremely huge, strong, and beautiful big cat and is the most feared cat in the world and they are the most dangerous animal in the wild. Most would like to think that lions are the king of the forest, not so, the tiger is bigger, stronger and more powerful than any other animal in the wild.

The Siberian Tiger is Also Known as the Amur Tiger

According to, “The Siberian tiger has many names depending on the region where the tigers may be observed. The Tiger can be known as Amur tiger, Manchurian tiger, Korean tiger, and Ussurian tiger."

It's estimated that there are around 400 to 500 Siberian tigers left in the wild and as of 2005 the population has slightly recovered from 331 to 393. And in 2015 their population increased from 480 to 540.

The Siberian Tiger is now classified by the IUCN on its Red List of Threatened Species as endangered and has become extinct in several countries where they once lived:

  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Mongolia

How Big Does The Siberian Tiger Get?

The Amur Cat is Huge!

The Amur Cat is Huge!

The Size Difference Between the Male and Female Tiger

Siberian tigers are muscular and have large heads and powerful forelimbs, huge paws, and canines with thirty-three razor-sharp teeth that shred their prey making it easier to eat.

The Siberian (Amur) tiger is among the largest of all the tigers in the wild and has the most variance in size even when compared to Leopards and Lions.

The males are larger than females, for instance:

  • Males– The average weight for an adult male is 660 to 700 pounds (three hundred kilos)
    • They can weigh as much as 423 kilograms, or 933 pounds and grow up to 10.5 feet (3.3 m) from head to tail.
    • The tiger is as tall as a one-story building!
    • The largest cat ever caught weighed 1,000 pounds!
    • If this big cat were to stand up on its hind legs, it would be as tall as a female giraffe!
  • Females – Are about half the weight of male tigers weighing in at around 200 to 370 pounds (100 to 167 kilos.)
    • They measure 8.5 feet (2.6 m) which is still ridiculously huge compared to other cats.
    • The female is larger than the largest male Sumatran Cat
Male and female Siberian tigers

Male and female Siberian tigers

The Siberian Tiger What’s for Dinner?

They feed on Red Deer, Wild Boar, Manchurian Elk, Goral, and Sika deer. These large herbivores make up about 85% of the tiger’s diet.

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Food Web of Siberian Tigers Ecosystem. Amur tigers are at the top of their food chain

Food Web of Siberian Tigers Ecosystem. Amur tigers are at the top of their food chain

The Hunt

Siberian tigers hunt wild cattle, and domestic livestock, such as horses, goats, and donkeys, and monkeys, pigs, and ground-based birds.

If larger animals aren’t available, they might resort to smaller creatures like crabs, lizards, toads, and fish if necessary. Although their diet is exclusively meat-based, tigers will occasionally eat plants and fruits, to meet their dietary fiber needs

What Does the Siberian Tiger Eat?

They hunt the Red Deer, Wild Boar, Manchurian Elk, Goral, and Sika deer. These large herbivores make up about 85% of the tiger’s diet. Other foods may include elk, deer, wild boar, lynx, and bear which make up more than half of their diet. They will also eat fish, rabbits, and small rodents when larger prey is scarce.

They Also Love to Hunt & Eat

  • Manchurian wapiti and Manchurian sika deer
  • Siberian musk deer and Siberian roe deer,
  • Long-haired goat Antelope, Moose, and Elk
  • Junior Asian black bear
  • Ussuri brown bear
  • Wild boar
  • Hares, rabbits, pikas, and salmon

On top of large adult prey, tigers also prey on other predators such as leopards, wolves, bears, and crocodiles.

Where does The Siberian (Amur) Tiger Live?

The Siberian tigers have moderately thick, coarse and sparse fur which helps them stay warm in snowy weather.

The Siberian tigers have moderately thick, coarse and sparse fur which helps them stay warm in snowy weather.

Where Do they Live?

The Amur tiger lives in far eastern Siberia in the Amur-Ussuri region of Khabarovsk Krais and Primorskiy Krasi also in eastern Russia's birch forests, and there are some tigers in China and North Korea.

Siberian tigers are also found in the snow-covered hilly regions where they live, breed and the food supply is plentiful.

Tiger Map - Russia-Far East

 Distribution of the Siberian tiger (in green)

Distribution of the Siberian tiger (in green)

Are Siberian Tigers Man Killers?

Sadly, some of these tigers are human killers and have killed more people than any other cat. Why does this happen? Are humans to blame? What causes a wild animal to attack humans?

In most cases it is due to the continuous invasion of their habitat by humans and the fact that this tiger inhibits one of the most populated areas in the world.

*Villagers while walking through the dense forest will wear masks on the back of their heads to thwart the tigers from attacking them. Why? Because tigers are more than likely to attack if your back is turned towards them.

“A lawyer for the two men who were injured in the San Francisco attack maintains that they did nothing to provoke the tiger.”

— The Los Angeles Times

Safe Havens and Conservation's

Safe havens and conservations are in place with laws protecting the tiger. It’s a fact that these wild cats survive longer in captivity and although I know they are safe, regardless, I refuse to go to a zoo and pay money to see caged animals of any kind. But how safe are they?

Zoo's Are No Place for the Big Cats

Back in December 2007, an incident occurred at the San Francisco Zoo in California, where Tatiana, a 14-year-old Siberian tiger, escaped from her open-air enclosure, killing a visitor and wounding two others.

Tatiana was shot through the forehead and killed by armed officials. However, the zoo was criticized for providing only a 12.5 ft (3.8 m) fence around her enclosure, although the international standard is 16 ft (4.9 m).

Regardless of whose fault it was, lawsuits were filed, and, in the petition, it stated that if the enclosure were at international standards the young man and the tiger would still be alive. The zoo later built a taller barrier topped with an electric fence in hopes that this would never happen again.

Brother and Sister Siberian Tigers

Brother and Sister Siberian Tigers

Accidents Can Happen When in Captivity

According to Wikipedia, “the Association of Zoos and Aquariums said the attack was the first time a visitor had been killed by an escaped animal since the Association’s founding in 1924." The zoo was closed until January 3, 2008, while the investigation continued, and it was found that one of the victims admitted taunting Tatiana (the tiger).

However, according to the Los Angeles Times: “A lawyer for the two men who were injured in the San Francisco attack maintains that they did nothing to provoke the tiger.” So, who knows what really happened? Sadly, a young man died, and the tiger was killed!

Amazing and Interesting Siberian Tiger

  • The Siberian tiger's summer coat is coarse, and their winter coat is dense, longer, softer, and silkier.
  • Their winter fur is shaggy on the trunk and is long on the head, with the fur almost covering the ears.
  • Their coloring is orange pale fur with golden yellow and black stripes or brown fur that is splashed with white bellies and chests and ruff of white fur around their necks.
  • The striped pattern is different for each tiger,
  • Their markings are unique, like our fingerprints, no two tiger stripes are alike, and this is how researchers can track them and identify one tiger from the other.
  • Their tails can be up to three feet long!

Siberian (Amur) Tiger – Amazing Facts

Amazing Facts About this Big Cat

  • While hunting, a Siberian tiger can run faster than fifty miles per hour
  • It will only run short distances to get close enough to its prey to pounce on them in a sneak attack.
  • Tigers can jump up to thirty-three feet in one giant leap!
  • “I could never imagine that a tiger could so effortlessly leap from the ground onto an adult elephant’s head, which is at least 12 feet above the ground,” Vivek Menon, executive director of the Wildlife Trust of India
  • Tiger’s roar can be heard 1.9 miles (3 kilos)
  • Normally, in the wild, the lifespan of a Siberian Tiger is 10-15 years, however, in captivity, they can live for up to 20 years.
  • Tigers can eat up to sixty pounds of meat only if they are super hungry, but on average, they eat about twenty pounds of meat in a single sitting.
Mama and her cub

Mama and her cub

Video courtesy of IFAW

Biggest Cats of All the Wild Cats - Top of the Food Chain

The Siberian (Amur) tiger is at the top of the food chain and is the most feared cat in the world! Which is fascinating, and they are the biggest cats of all the wild cats. They are known to hunt prey twice their size and not all their hunts are always 100% successful resulting in their eating every 5 days or less.

When their hunts are successful, they eat anywhere from twenty pounds up to sixty pounds of meat in a single sitting.

Male tigers who hunt and kill will share their meat with the females or cubs, and they let the smaller tigers and cubs eat first unlike lions where the males eat first, then the Lioness and coming in last are the cubs.

Siberia's Stripes of Death | Nat Geo Wild

The Siberian Tiger in the Wild

While poachers are still illegally hunting this endangered tiger, their population dwindles regardless, however, there are safe havens, sanctuary habitats and conservations in place and protection laws and agreements to help these big cats survive!

They are beautiful, huge cats and as they roam this world in different habitats of safety and the wild and they are at the top of the ecosystem and without them controlling that system it would be unbalanced and frightening, to say the least.

Also, Amazon has a program called Amazon Smile Mission: I signed up to support Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary’s

Their Mission is Threefold:

  1. We will rescue and rehabilitate indigenous wildlife
  2. and provide lifelong care for those that are non-releasable due to permanent disability or victims of the illegal pet trade
  3. Provide education and outreach services to youth groups, adults, and schools in underserved communities in northern Nevada
  4. Model innovative approaches to energy use for visitors and participants in our classroom presentations.

A percentage of your purchases are donated to the charity of your choice! Isn’t that wonderful?

All wildlife thanks you for all you do to help them survive!


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Donna Rayne


Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on March 08, 2020:

Mine too, she walks and preys on her toy mice and actually can leap from her standing point and she leaves me in awe of such beauty and such grace. Thank you and have a lovely day!

Lison Molina on March 07, 2020:

The truely are amazing animals,i have a feeling that my cat is related to one of them though!

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on March 01, 2020:

Aww, that's so sad. I have loved tigers since I was a little girl! Thank you for reading about them here.


Donna Rayne

Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on March 01, 2020:

Such beautiful animals! They used to live in the Punjab, Pakistan, but not anymore.

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 27, 2020:

Thank you so much, Paula! I appreciate your kind words. I truly love these cats!


Donna Rayne

Suzie from Carson City on February 25, 2020:

Such breathtaking BEAUTY! Leaves one nearly speechless! Thank you for this Fascinating article and gorgeous photos! Peace, Paula

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 25, 2020:

Ms. Ruby, I didn't know that these tigers were that huge either. I researched and found that information everywhere, just to make sure it was correct and yes, they are that huge!

Have a great day,

Donna Rayne

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 25, 2020:

I know that people like zoos, but it's my opinion that no animal should be behind a fence. Your article was an interesting read. I had no idea that they were that big.

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 25, 2020:

Thank you Bill and Devika, I appreciate you reading my article.


Donna Rayne

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 25, 2020:

I like the Siberian tiger and it is a shame to see this about it. Such cruelty needs attention and you brings this subject into light.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 25, 2020:

They are absolutely majestic. Thanks for the informative article. i hung on every word. :)

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 24, 2020:

Thank you so much, Peggy and Paul, I love all the tigers and big cats of the wild as well as my fierce kitten haha appreciate you reading it!

Have a lovely day,

Donna Rayne

Paul on February 23, 2020:

Donna, This was a great article on the Siberia tiger. It was very informative and shows how much you love these big cats. We all should care this much about these rare and endangered species around the world. Thank you ! For opening are eyes.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 23, 2020:

Thanks for educating us about the spectacular and beautiful Siberian tiger. I hope that they are saved from extinction. Of course, logging and human habitation encroaching upon their natural habitat is a recipe for disaster.

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 23, 2020:

Thank you very much, Ms. Pamela, they are very amazing!

Take care,

Donna Rayne

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 23, 2020:

Yes, I do love cats so much! Thank you for reading it.

All my best,

Donna Rayne

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 23, 2020:

I don't either, Ms. Pamela. They are so beautiful and have great strength! They are one of God's most beautiful creations!

Have a lovely day,

Donna Rayne

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 23, 2020:

William, I have loved cats all my life and some pictures just bring me to tears because of their beauty!

Thank you for reading!


Donna Rayne

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 23, 2020:

Thank you Flourish, it is so sad what these big cats go through, breaks my heart!


Donna Rayne

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 23, 2020:

I don't want an animal to become extinct, and the Siberian tiger is beatiful. This was a very interesting article. I can't imagine one of these tigers running toward me at 50 mph. That is amazing! Thanks for this good information.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on February 23, 2020:

I can tell you love your cats, Donna. Thanks for the good information, and the pics are beautiful!

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 23, 2020:

Parts of this were really sad. If we stopped encroaching on their land they’d probably stay where they are and fails to be such a threat. They are strong and beautiful.

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on February 22, 2020:

Thank you very much Rosina, I appreciate your sweet words.


Donna Rayne

Rosina S Khan on February 22, 2020:

It was interesting to read about the formidable and dangerous Siberian Tiger. A very informative piece and an elegant one too. Thank you for sharing, Donna.

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