What Are Some Facts About Tigers for Kids?

The tiger is the largest member of the cat family, growing as long as 11 feet and weighing as much as 660 pounds. Most tigers have thick, reddish coats with black, brown or gray stripes. The stripe patterns are unique to each individual tiger, just as fingerprints are unique to each individual person. White tigers are found in captivity, and there are some reports of the existence of black tigers.

As of August 2014, tigers live in Asia in an area between India and the Russian Far East. They live in forests with a water source and plenty of deer, swine and boars on which to prey. They also eat antelopes, leopards, pythons, monkeys and crocodiles.

Tigers can run as fast as 40 mph, and they can swim for 3.5 miles. They can also jump lengths of approximately 5 feet.

Tigers live and hunt on their own, but males and females come together to mate. After a gestation period of 100 to 112 days, between two and four 2-pound cubs are born. They nurse for the first 6 weeks, then become gradually more independent over the course of 2 years when they establish territories of their own.

Only about half of the tiger cubs live to maturity. In the wild, tigers can live about 15 years, but many succumb to attacks by older male tigers or are killed by humans. In sanctuaries, tigers can live as long as 26 years.