Mali Mauls Bima

Heather Haderly

Castle Rock, United States

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Artist's Description

Sumatran Tiger cubs, Bima and Mali, were born May 25, 2010 at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, WA, USA. Mali has a stripe across one front leg, so they can be told apart easily. Sisters can be such a pain! (lol)

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is a subspecies of tiger found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Recent genetic testing has revealed the presence of unique genetic markers, which isolate Sumatran tigers from all mainland subspecies. About 400-500 wild Sumatran tigers were believed to exist in 1998, but their numbers have continued to decline.

The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of all surviving tiger subspecies. Male Sumatran tigers average 204 cm (6 feet, 8 inches) in length from head to tail and weigh about 136 kg (300 lb). Females average 198 cm (6 feet, 6 inches) in length and weigh about 91 kg (200 lb). Its stripes are narrower than other subspecies of tigers’ stripes, and it has a more bearded and maned appearance, especially the males. Its small size makes it easier to move through dense rain forests. It has webbing between its toes that, when spread, makes Sumatran tigers very fast swimmers. It has been known to drive hoofed prey into the water, especially if the prey animal is a slow swimmer.

Sumatran Tigers commonly prey on larger ungulates, like Wild Boar, Malayan Tapir and deer, and sometimes also smaller animals, like fowl, monkeys, and fish. Orangutans could be prey, but since they spend a minimal amount of time on the ground, tigers rarely catch one. Sumatran tigers will sometimes prey upon mice and other small mammals when larger prey is scarce.

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