The different types of tigers you’ll find in the wild

The Tiger

The different types of tigers you’ll find in the wild

If you’re a fan of Judith Kerr’s classic kids’ book The Tiger Who Came to Tea, you’re sure to love the theatre show, which is one of the top things to do in London with kids this summer. A fantastic 55-minute show full of fun, songs and chaos, it’s sure to delight audiences of all ages. But how much do you know about the tiger himself? Who are his relatives that still wander the wildernesses of the planet? Let’s find out.

Bengal Tiger

Of the five surviving subspecies of tiger that have a presence in the wild, the Bengal – or Indian – tiger is perhaps the best known. It lives in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, and typically sports the orange colour associated with most tigers. However, some have a genetic difference which causes them to be cream or white with black stripes. Although it is the most numerous of all tiger species, it’s still unfortunately endangered, which means there’s a high chance it could die out unless steps are taken to protect the population.

Amur Tigers

Also known as Siberian tigers, Amur tigers are the largest of the tiger subspecies, growing up to 3.3m from head to tail and weighing up to 300 kilograms. Their fur is a paler orange than other tigers, and their stripes are brown rather than black. You’ll find them in the far east of Russia and in the northeast of China, with numbers reaching only around 450-500. This means there’s a high chance of Amur tigers becoming extinct – which is why you’ll often see them in zoos, as conservation organisations attempt to boost their numbers.

Indo-Chinese Tiger

Smaller and darker in colour than Bengal tigers, Indo-Chinese tigers live in the remote forests and hilly terrain of Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Not much is known about them as their habitat is so difficult to access, but they’re thought to measure about 3m in length and weigh up to 180 kilograms. Estimates of their numbers range from 736 to 1,225.

Malayan Tiger

It wasn’t until 2004 that the Malayan tiger was identified as a separate subspecies of tiger from the Indo-Chinese one. Genetic analysis showed that this type of tiger is smaller than the Indo-Chinese, and its habitat is the tropical and subtropical forests of Thailand and parts of Malaysia. It’s listed as an endangered species.

Sumatran Tiiger

As its name suggests, this type of tiger is only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It’s listed as Critically Endangered and is therefore protected by strict laws in Indonesia, though unfortunately this hasn’t always deterred hunters. The Sumatran tiger has the darkest coat of all the subspecies, and broad black stripes that are closely spaced. They’re also the smallest tiger, being just 2-2.4 metres in length and weighing between 90 and 120 kilograms.

Tiger enthusiasts can catch The Tiger Who Came to Tea stage show in the UK this season. One of the top activities in London for families, it’s sure to entertain both young and old. So if you’re searching for the top things to do in London this year, be sure to book your tickets.


★★★★

'This Tiger is the cat's meow'

The Times

★★★★

'Perfectly pitched adaptation'

Daily Telegraph

★★★★

'A delight from start to finish'

Time Out