(Panthera tigris)

Tigers are the largest members of the cat family. A fully grown male tiger can weigh up to 600 lbs. They are one of the Big Cats, the other members of this group being the lion, jaguar, and leopard. All of the big cats can roar, something the small cats, like your pet cat at home, cannot do! Tigers are solitary, unlike the lion. They come together only to mate or when a female is raising cubs. A tiger can live for up to 20 years in captivity , but in the wild an 8 year old tiger would be considered very old. Unfortunately, many tigers are killed by poachers. Some people believe that tiger bone has magical properties. Scientific analysis shows this to be nonsense – tiger bone is no different than other mammal bone. Tigers hunt prey of all sizes: young elephants, water buffalo, deer, macaque monkeys and peafowl. You can see most of the tigers prey species here at the Bowmanville Zoo. Currently Bowmanville Zoo has 2 tigers.

Facts & Myths

  • Unlike most cats tiger LOVE the water and swim and dive brilliantly.
  • Tigers also love playing in snow!
  • Tigers are, unfortunately, critically endangered. There are maybe only 3,000 wild tigers left in all of Asia . There are more tigers in the state of Texas than there are in Asia. We have lost 97% of wild tigers in just over a century.
  • Tigers do not make good pets. They are too big, and too dangerous. One of our tigers here was actually seized by OSPCA from an exotic dancer’s apartment in the city of Toronto! We took him in. His name is Robbie.
  • Tigers are found from the frozen forests of the Russian Far East down through China (where they may now be extinct), into India and to the south in Sumatra. Three subspecies of tigers are already extinct: the Bali, Javan and the Caspian. Without more protection, tigers will be extinct in the wild within the next 50 years. You can help by avoiding products with Palm oil. Ask for Canadian grown vegetable oil instead. Avoid tropical hardwoods and use sustainably logged Canadian hardwoods instead. Support Canadian agriculture and forestry and you are helping tigers, too. Think Local/Act global!

Tigers at the Bowmanville Zoo Bowmanville Tigers have had many starring roles. Most recently, Jonas starred in the Life of Pi. He was chosen to play ‘Richard Parker’ for the movie because he was the most reliable, well trained tiger in the world, able to work with the actor in the confined space of a life boat. Jonas had a great time on set and spent his afternoons lounging with his trainer under palm trees in the Tiawanese sunshine when not on camera!

In 2010, Jonas was kidnapped in a truck stolen while transporting him back to the zoo. The search for him made international headlines. Fortunately he was recovered home safely. Find out more here. Robbie, a twelve year old male Bengal tiger, has been in numerous TV roles. He starred along with Billy the white tiger in the TV series ANIMPORPHS. Butch our younger three year old Siberian Tiger lives with his two young lion buddies. They are all still youngsters, but as adults he will be the biggest!