Lapua – Bengal Tiger

Lapua is a male Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) born summer 2013. He is rare in the fact that he carries traits of both the white and orange Bengal tiger. He initially came to the Foundation for training and is completely healthy. After training he was supposed to continue on to a new facility but they could no longer take him and we are happy to keep him as part of our family.
Bengal tigers are the only tigers that can be born with color variations. As a matter of fact, there are three distinct color varieties: orange and black, white and black, and snow white and black. All have the classic stripes, which traverse beyond fur and are actually skin-deep. No two tigers have exactly the same stripes. Many researchers utilize the unique markings on tiger faces to identify individuals.
Tigers are a rarity among cats, as they love to swim and are quite adept at it. Tigers are solitary animals and heavily scent-mark their territory. Cubs are not proficient hunters until 18 months of age and will remain with their mother for two to three years until they are ready to claim their own territory. They are sit-and-wait predators, using their coat as camouflage and wait until prey is within pouncing distance before attacking. Main sources of food include buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals. Tigers have even been known to take down small elephants. A hungry tiger can eat as much as 60 lbs of meat in one night, though they don’t usually eat that much on a regular basis.
Bengal tigers (also called Indian tigers) are found in the Indian subcontinent. The mangrove forests of Sundarban, shared between Bangladesh and India, are the only mangrove forests where tigers are found. Today, Bengal tigers are mostly in India. Bengal tigers are the most common of the tiger subspecies in the wild, as well as in captivity. There are an estimated 1,700-2,500 Bengal tigers left in the wild and a further reduction will occur in the next 20-30 years unless greater conservation efforts are made. Primary declines are due to poaching and habitat loss.

Tiger Trivia: On cubs, the spots on the ears are used as protection from predators. Even as the cub is running away, it will appear as the spots are eyes looking at the predator!

Bengal Tiger Quick Facts:

Body Length 5 – 6 ft
Weight 240 – 500 lbs
Gestation Period 103 days
Litter Size 2 – 4 average
Life Span 8 – 10 years in the wild, 10 – 12 years in captivity
Protection Status Endangered