Tigers are predominately solitary creatures, they occupy territories that are defended against intruders of the same sex and are marked with urine and scrapes at the boundaries (2). Males have larger territories that overlap those of several females, with whom they mate (2). Mating occurs throughout the year and the female gives birth to a litter of around two to three cubs after a four month gestation period (3). Cubs learn to hunt and kill from around six months of age but remain dependent on their mother for at least 15 months, after which time they will disperse to find their own territory (2). Tigers are 'stalk and ambush' predators and their stripy coat provides effective camouflage in tall grass and forest (2). Hunting mainly occurs at night and the principal prey consists of deer and wild pigs, although tigers prey on a variety of other animals and will also eat carrion (3). Unlike other species of cats, tigers are competent swimmers; they will readily enter the water, and can be found lying half-submerged in streams and lakes in the mid-day heat (3).
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