Metrides,
our Golden Tabby Bengal Tiger

DESCRIPTION

A golden tiger, golden tabby tiger or strawberry tiger is one with an extremely rare colour variation caused by a recessive gene that is currently only found in captive tigers. Like the white tiger, it is a colour form and not a separate species.

In the case of the golden tiger, this is the wide band gene; while the white tiger is due to the colour inhibitor (chinchilla) gene. There are currently believed to be fewer than 30 of these rare tigers in the world, but many more carriers of the gene.

While no official name has been designated for the colour, it is sometimes referred to as the strawberry tiger due to the strawberry blonde colouration.

The golden tiger’s white coat and gold patches make it stand out from the norm. Their striping is much paler than usual and may fade into spots or large prominent patches.

Golden tigers also tend to be larger and, due to the effect of the gene on the hair shaft, have softer fur than their orange relatives.

Male Tigers have an average total length of 270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in) including the tail, while females measure 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) on average.

The tail is typically 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in) long, and on average, tigers are 90 to 110 cm (35 to 43 in) in height at the shoulders.

The average weight of males is 221.2 kg (488 lb), while that of females is 139.7 kg (308 lb).

HABITAT

In the Indian subcontinent, tigers inhabit tropical moist evergreen forests, tropical dry forests, tropical and subtropical moist deciduous forests, mangroves, subtropical and temperate upland forests, and alluvial grasslands.

The best examples of this habitat type are limitated to a few blocks at the base of the outer foothills of the Himalayas.

DIET

Tigers are carnivores. They prefer hunting large ungulates such as chital, sambar, gaur, and to a lesser extent also barasingha, water buffalo, nilgai, serow and takin.

Among the medium-sized prey species they frequently kill are wild boar, and occasionally hog deer, muntjac and Gray langur.

Small prey species such as porcupines, hares and peafowl form a very small part in their diet. Due to the encroachment of humans into their habitat, they also prey on domestic livestock.

Tigers have been known to take other predators, such as leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes, crocodiles, Asiatic black bears, sloth bears, and dholes as prey, although these predators are not typically a part of their diet.

If injured, old or weak, or their normal prey is becoming scarce, they may even attack humans and become man-eaters.

WHERE DO THEY LIVE?

CONSERVATION STATUS

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