Tigers in Captivity
Due to their limited status remaining on Earth, many tigers are in captivity. This is to help researchers learn more about them. It is also a way for humans to get to see them up close and personal. The hope is that by brining people to see them they will get interested in protecting these animals. The majority of tigers that you will find in captivity are found in both zoos and belonging to circus acts.
Others are in captivity due to being injured in the wild. If they aren’t properly cared for then they would die in the wild. Those that can be cared for and successfully returned to their natural habitat are. For the most part though these animals will need to remain in captivity for the rest of their lives. If they were to be returned to a natural environment they would likely die soon afterwards.
It is believed that about 10,000 tigers are held in captivity by individuals that have them as pets. This is extremely dangerous as these are still wild animals and they can attack a human at any time. It may be cute to care for these animals when they are cubs but it doesn’t take long before they are full grown animals that are extremely dangerous. It is illegal in some locations to have them but not in others.
In China approximately 4,500 tigers of different species are living in captivity. Most of them are in breeding programs that helps to keep the genetics of these animals as strong as possible. The goal is to prevent those animals that are too closely related to each other from breeding. This is also the location where certain genetic traits including the mutation for creating the white tiger coats continues to be explored. Both parents must have that trait in order for the offspring to exhibit it as well.
Keeping the environment in captivity as close to what they would experience in the wild is very important. It helps them to be able to survive as nature intended and to reduce stress levels. An environment that is similar to the wild is even more important if the tiger used to live in the wild than if it is born into captivity.
Tigers love to spend their time swimming too. In fact, they are one of the few types of cats that actually enjoy the water. They have been seen enjoying spending time in the water both to cool off and to have fun. Young cubs are fun to watch at the frolic and play with each other. Many of the games they play though are part of the teaching process for survival. They help them to become strong as well as to learn how to hunt in their own. In captivity offering water for them to swim is very important as well.
Tigers are able to breed extremely well in captivity. This is one of the ways in which efforts have been made to help increase their population. Since less than half of the cubs survive in the wild there are proper techniques in place to help ensure their survival in captivity. Some of the tiger cubs are removed from their mothers and cared for by humans in order to ensure they get adequate nutrition and even medical care that may be necessary.
Due to the huge distances that a tiger can leap it is important for the structure of the area to be well designed. This is why you will often see huge ravines that extend from the walls of their living quarters to where humans can observe them.