The hunt

The tiger is a carnivore, which means he almost solely survives on meat. Therefore he needs tools adjusted for hunting and eating his prey in order to feed himself.
His diet contains preferably bovine animals, swine-, deer- and antelope like animals. When these are scarce, he catches smaller prey, even rodents (fish is on the menu too).

A tiger needs about 5 kilograms of meat a day. After he can digest it to build up the necessary materials. If his prey is too large to eat at once, he hides the rest to prevent scavengers from eating it.
When a tiger catches a prey, he will eat the most nourishing parts (such as the beef and the liver) first.

The hunting ritual takes places by means of the following steps:

  1. He chooses a prey (the weaker/wounded or elder of a group).
  2. He creeps up on his prey so that the prey cannot smell him.
  3. He sneaks upon his prey to get as close as possible.
  4. When he is close enough, he starts running in the direction of his prey.
  5. He catches up with the prey and jumps to its neck.
  6. He pulls the prey down.
  7. He makes the animal suffocate by biting its throat.

His muscular hind legs, good eyes, excellent smell and his camouflage make the tiger an excellent hunter. Despite all these adaptations, the tiger usually manages to take down only one prey out of five. This is because the prey is well adapted too and because nature made a 'natural alarm': when a tiger walks through the forest, many animals will start making noise to warn others. This noise also makes a tiger easier to find for both researchers and poachers (but are still hard to find though).

The tiger only hunts to eat, the rest of the time they are, unless forced into a corner, relatively harmless (nevertheless only meet with a tiger when there is a fence in between). Especially when they have cubs, tigers will be more aggressive towards everything in the neighbourhood. There are cases known where tigers are walking uninterested in the suburbs of cities. In zoos a guardian can walk in a tiger cage pretty safely, on condition that the animal is confident with the zoo keeper; a bond that has to be created when they are young.