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The Big Cats Series: The Siberian Tiger

Donna loves writing about the big cats of the wild, she loves all cats big and small! Join her as she journeys to her Big Cats Series!

The Amur Tiger – Panthera Tigris Altaica

The Amur Tiger – Panthera Tigris Altaica

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger

The Siberian Tiger is big, strong, beautiful and the most feared cat in the world! In fact, they are the most dangerous animal in the wild and they are extremely huge and consider this; their length is taller than a one-story building.

More about that in a moment.

In the following video, you will see three orphaned Siberian tigers who were rescued after their mothers were killed by poachers and are now being released back into the wild.

I watched this several times and each time it brought me to tears because these tigers were being set free and because they are just so beautiful to me… unbelievably breathtaking to my soul!

Video courtesy of IFAW

The Siberian Tiger is Also Known as the Amur Tiger

According to Wikipedia.org, “The Siberian tiger was also called Amur tiger, Manchurian tiger, Korean tiger,[4] and Ussurian tiger, depending on the region where individual tigers were observed.” [10][12] wikipedia.org

Sadly, it’s estimated that there are around 400 to 500 Siberian tigers left in the wild and the good news is that the population has slightly recovered from 331 to 393 in 2005

And now let's fast forward to 2015 and their population increased from 480 to 540.

The big cat 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!

What is 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 easy to feast on their dinner!

The Siberian (Amur) tiger is among the largest of all the tigers and they have 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 Siberian tiger 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 he would be as tall as a female giraffe!
Male and female Siberian tigers

Male and female Siberian tigers

  • Females – Are about half the weight of male tigers weighing in at around 200 to 370 pounds (100 to 167 kilos.)
    • They measure in at 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

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.

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

Siberian tigers love to munch on the following

  • Manchurian wapiti and Manchurian sika deer
  • Siberian musk deer and Siberian roe deer,
  • Long-haired goat Antelope, Moose, and Elk
  • Junior Asian black bear and Ussuri brown bear
  • Wild boar
  • Siberian tigers also hunt smaller prey such as hares, rabbits, pikas, and salmon
  • And an occasional piece of Pika chocolate mousse cake… haha just kidding…

Did You Know

Tigers love rabbits and hares… but what is the difference between the two?

Tigers love rabbits and hares… but what is the difference between the two?

The difference between Hares and Rabbits are:

  • Hares are larger than rabbits with much longer hind legs and ears with black markings.
  • And their fur changes colors depending on the season such as, in winter their fur is white and in the summer brown or gray.
  • Rabbits, on the other hand, are much smaller than the Hare.
  • And rabbit’s fur stays the same color year-round, and rabbits are more social animals.

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.

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

Siberian tigers also are found in the snow-covered hilly regions where they live, breed and their food supply are 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 we to blame? What causes a wild animal to attack humans?

Well, most cases are due to the continuous invasion of their habitat by humans and the fact that this tiger does inhibit one of the most populated areas in the world and this is a factor to consider on their behalf.

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

The Big Cats Series – The Siberian Tiger – Populations

Tiger phylogenetic relationships

Tiger phylogenetic relationships

Safe Havens and Conservation's

Phylogenetic relationship of tiger populations [9] Note the close relationship between the Caspian (PTV or P. t. virgata) and Siberian (ALT or P. t. altaica) tigers.

Safe havens and conservations are in place and there are laws protecting the tiger, which is awesome, however, I wish there were more that we can do to help them to survive.

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?

“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

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 will never happen again.

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.[15]” 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!

Brother and Sister Siberian Tigers

Brother and Sister Siberian Tigers

Amazing and Interesting Siberian Tiger

  • The Siberian tiger's summer coat is coarse, and their winter coat is dense, longer, softer, and silkier.
  • Also, their winter fur is shaggy on the trunk and is strikingly long on the head, and it almost covers 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 tales can be up to three feet long!

Siberian (Amur) Tiger – Amazing Facts

Amazing Facts for 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

Siberia's Stripes of Death | Nat Geo Wild

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. Although they hunt prey twice their size and not all their hunts are always 100% successful resulting in eating every 5 days or less.

When their hunts are successful, they can eat anywhere from twenty pounds up to sixty pounds of meat in a single sitting, sometimes they prey on smaller animals such as rabbits and salmon.

Male tigers who hunt and kill will share their meat with the females or cubs, and they also 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.

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 to control 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana on February 23, 2020:

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

Take care,

Donna Rayne

Donna Rayne (author) from Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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 Greenwood, Indiana 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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