Tigers are beautiful and majestic creatures, and there are plenty of places to get acquainted with them. Whether it’s in story books, TV shows or even family shows at the theatre, there are always opportunities to enjoy tales about these much-loved big cats. But we all know that - unlike in popular stories like The Tiger Who Came to Tea - tigers don’t live in towns or houses or back gardens. They do, however, live in a hugely diverse range of habitats. Let’s take a look at where you’re most likely to find them.
Where do tigers live?
Tigers have huge territories, so their habitats are varied. They can be found in rainforests, grasslands, savannahs and even mangrove swamps and snowy Siberia. Where you’re most likely to see them depends on the type of tiger you’re looking for.
Bengal tigers can be found in India, Bangladesh, Bhutal, Nepal and Myanmar. It’s estimated that 70% of the world’s remaining wild tiger population lives in India, which means the habitat tigers live in most is a mix of temperate, subtropical and tropical rainforests and grasslands. These tigers are excellent swimmers, and love water. Their orange and black coats provide excellent camouflage in reeds and grasses.
Amur or Siberian tigers live in the dense birch forests and mountainous regions of eastern Russia and northeast China. They are the only subspecies to have adapted to the harsh, cold climate of the north, and often have to survive long periods of snow.
Indochinese tigers, like Bengal tigers, live largely in tropical and subtropical rainforests, as well as grasslands. If food is scarce, however, they will climb the foothills of mountains to hunt for prey. They used to roam widely across southeast Asia but their numbers are rapidly declining and they are now thought to only inhabit small areas of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
Malayan tigers live in Malaysia in the tropical forests of Johor, Pahang, Kelantan, Perak and Terengganu. They are accomplished ‘stalk and ambush’ hunters, and the dense forests of Malaysia help them to hide from prey while hunting.
Sunda tigers live only on the island of Sumatra. They can be found in coastal lowland forests at the southern tip of the island and in the dense mountainous forests of the north. Both these habitats are part of National Parks, and the tigers there are under conservation and protection measures.
As you can see, forests are a favourite habitat for tigers, as they provide shade from the sun and cover while hunting. Unfortunately it is the rise of deforestation and agriculture that is depleting tigers’ habitats across the world, leaving many endangered.
If you love tigers and are looking for fun things to do in London, be sure to catch The Tiger Who Came to Tea. This 55-minute production is one of the best family shows in London, and is playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 3 September 2023. It’s also touring the UK in 2023 and 2024, so don’t miss out!