Happy Lunar Year of the Water Tiger

2022 is the Lunar Year of the Tiger so we thought we would bring you some facts about these beautiful creatures to get the year off to a feline start.
Tiger near a cataract by Morikuni Tachibana [Japenese Woodblock Print -moku-hanga]

Photograph: © Public Domain

There are only a few Cats that love being near water, heres one — but the Tiger must be the biggest of them all

Cat of the Lunar Year ~ 2022

Tigers have been around for a good 2 million years. Around 3,000 of the world’s wild tigers are in India.

Tigers are a top predator and, as such, help to keep their environment healthy. They have soft toe pads to help them stalk their prey. A tiger can easily travel 6-12 miles a night when they are hunting. Their main prey is deer and a large deer will provide a week’s food for a tiger. They will drag their kill elsewhere to eat it rather than eat it at the kill site. If tigers need to leave their food they will cover it with leaves, grass or dirt before coming back to it later.

Tigers use many vocalisations to communicate e.g. grunting, growling, roaring, chuffing, snarling and hissing. It is not yet understood what all of their vocal repertoire might mean. Sadly in the last 100 years their numbers have dropped by about 95%. It is estimated that there are about 3,900 tigers left in the wild. There are estimated to be more tigers in captivity in the US than there are in the wild.

The WWF, from whom these facts were gathered, has more information and ways for us all to get involved in supporting these amazing and inspirational animals. Tiger | WWF

The name ‘Water Tiger’ comes from the Tiger’s five elements (Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth) .2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger, which indicates a prosperous year due to the Tiger’s auspicious signs of strength and courage. We wish all wild cats, domestic cats and their humans a happy and courageous 2022.

(Artist) Isoda Koryusai

Photograph: © Smithsonian