Sumatran Tiger

(Panthera tigris sumatrae)

The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the known tiger subspecies in existence and lives solely in the marshes and rain forests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Just like all species of tiger, the Sumatran tiger is also a loner who only lives with its partner during the mating season.


Indonesian island of Sumatra

Lowland to highland rainforests and peat bogs; marshlands

Large and small mammals: Deer, wild pigs, cattle, rabbits

Less than 400

Total length 2.20 to 2.70 m, shoulder height approx. 75 cm

Males 100 to 140 kg, females 75 to 110 kg

Brooding/gestation time:
Approx. 100 days

Achievable age
Approx. 20 years in human care, 15 years in the wild

What you should know about Sumatran tigers

Sumatran tigers are classed as 'small' big cats compared to the other species of tigers and differ in their intensely coloured fur and the dense, striking whiskers. The last remaining of their kind live on Sumatra, timid and withdrawn in the diminishing rain forest. It is estimated that only 350–400 wild Sumatran tigers are in existence, so they are among the most endangered animals.


Loners on velvet paws

The male Sumatran tigers dominate a large area in the wild that may range between 20 to 450 sq. km, depending on the prey. Although the male prefers the solitary lifestyle, and as a result is extremely territorial, his area frequently overlaps with the areas of up to three female Sumatran tigers. They form couples only during the mating season.


Variable menu

Sumatran tigers have a killer appetite. They predominately hunt hoofed animals such as wild pigs, deer and cattle to satisfy their daily need for five to eight kg of meat. But they are quite content in leaner times to make do with smaller rabbit-sized prey or even hunt for water birds or fish in nearby waters.


Shrewd hunters

Everyone knows the distinctive hunting instinct of cats. If a Sumatran tiger goes on the hunt, they lurk hidden away and wait patiently for their prey. Their patterned fur gives them the perfect camouflage for this. When they spot an animal, they sneak up on them silently from behind until about ten or twenty yards away, getting ready to leap and pull down their prey using their front paws. They are reluctant to share their meals as lone fighters.


Is it true, that ...?

It is said that cats are scared of water. Can it be true that tigers love the water? Absolutely! Sumatran tigers are extremely good swimmers thanks to the development of their webbed paws. They even like to take a refreshing dip in the cool waters on hot days.

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Feeding times

Daily approx. 3 p.m.
except Fridays: Fasting day in the
where: Alfred-Brehm House (big cats)

All feeding times