Things you didn’t know about the Caspian Tiger

The Caspian tiger was sadly declared extinct in 2003, with most having disappeared by the 1950s. Like the Amur (or Siberian) tiger, it lived across central Asia, and was one of the largest tigers in the world. Let’s learn a little bit more about this beautiful creature.


Their range extended across Asia

Caspian tigers could once be found all the way from China to Turkey, but only in specific environments. They favoured riverside habitats because they drew in lots of different types of prey, including deer and wild boar. Unfortunately, riverside locations were desirable for humans too, who turned the tigers’ habitat into farmland and hunted their prey.


They had summer and winter coats

In the warmer months, Caspian tigers had a rust-coloured coat of fur with brown stripes that were narrow and closely set. Because of the cold winters in their territory, they grew a thicker, paler coat to stay warm, and their stripes were less distinct in winter. Notably, Caspian tigers had white fur on their tummies and chests too.


They were known by many names

‘Caspian tiger’ is just one of the names given to this mighty cat. They were also known as Persian tigers, Mazandaran tigers, Turan tigers and Hyrcanian tigers.


They were huge

The average male Caspian tiger was two metres in length, although some are reported to have been over 2.25 metres, and they could weigh up to 240kg. Females were smaller, being between 1.6 and 1.8 metres long. As such, Caspian tigers were one of the largest big cats in the world. They also had very muscular bodies, with long legs and large paws.


They were accomplished swimmers

Like other tigers that can still be found in the wild today, Caspian tigers were strong swimmers and had no trouble plunging into a river to catch prey. It’s thought that they preferred to drink from rivers rather than lakes too.


Last sightings

Caspian tigers gradually died out as a result of humans turning their habitats into farmland, and because of hunting. There are records of the last sightings of Caspian tigers in their different territories:


The last sighting of a Caspian tiger in Iran was in 1958

The last known tiger in Georgia was killed in 1922 after it attacked livestock

The last known tiger in Turkmenistan was killed in January 1954

In the Piandj River area between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, a Caspian tiger is thought to have been spotted as recently as 1998


See a tiger in town

You may not be able to see a Caspian tiger anymore, but you can certainly see a friendly tiger in Kent this autumn. The Tiger Who Came to Tea is one of the best kids’ theatre shows in Dartford this season, playing at the Orchard Theatre from 24-27 November. At just 55 minutes long with no interval, it’s perfect for children aged three and up, and is among the exciting family shows in Dartford that is sure to leave you smiling.

Based on the best-selling picture book by Judith Kerr, the production is packed with sing-along songs, magic and clumsy chaos. Don’t miss out on one of the most entertaining shows for kids – book your tickets today!