What Do Indochinese Tigers Eat?

By Naomi Millburn

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), which originated in Southeast Asia, is an endangered subspecies with an extremely small population remaining. These felines exist primarily in Thailand, but they also roam through Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. Another name for this subspecies is Corbett's tiger.

Background

Approximately 300 Indonesian tigers might survive in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Poaching and deforestation are some of the reasons for the decrease in population. However, population figures for the Indochinese tiger are mere guesses. The true number for the population is difficult to know because many of these tigers inhabit extremely isolated rugged areas between national borders.

Diet

Indochinese tigers, like all members of the family Felidae, are carnivores. These tigers' primary prey includes wild pigs, antelope, buffalo and deer. To a lesser degree, Indochinese tigers also go after turtles, birds, monkeys, fish and baby rhinoceroses and elephants -- but generally only when their typical prey is scant. For the most part, these felines consume whatever flesh they can.

Small Prey

Hunting by humans has had a big effect on the Indochinese tiger diet, as it has done away with a lot of the subspecies' preferred prey. Indochinese tigers frequently turn to smaller animals when bigger ones aren't available. In these situations, these tigers frequently eat porcupines, hog badgers, macaques and a kind of small deer called muntjac. These undersize animals aren't enough to replenish the tigers.

Hunting Technique

Once these stealthy and energetic hunters reach their prey, they use both their lengthy, sharp chompers and strong jaws to brace the throat. This hunting style is especially effective for larger prey. Tigers of this subspecies begin hunting independently when they're roughly a year and a half old. Until then they rely on their mothers' help to acquire food.

Photo Credits

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