1. Tigers are the largest naturally occurring species of cats.
2. Of tiger subspecies, the Siberian Tiger is the biggest cat that can weigh well up to eight hundred pounds.
3. Tigers are very beautiful and their striped coat makes for ideal camouflage.
4. A tiger's stripes are like fingerprints - no two are alike. In fact the stripes' pattern is often used to identify individual tigers in the wild.
5. In India paw prints or pug marks are often used by local wildlife officials to identify individual tigers. However, this technique is now deemed to be flawed since an individual tiger may leave several different types of paw prints depending on its speed and terrain.
6. Tigers are largely solitary cats and are most active between dusk and dawn.
7. Tigers are largely muscular and rely on stealth and power to bring down a prey rather than speed. Like other big cats most tiger ambushes are unsuccessful.
8. Tigers are perhaps the most notorious big cat for man-eating. In fact the single greatest man-eater is history is believed to be the Champawat Tigress who killed over four hundred thirty people in India decades ago until she was finally killed by the great Jim Corbett.
9. Tigers are highly ferocious and unlike the laid back male lion, it's never wise to turn your back to a tiger even in captivity. Even seasoned zoo keepers report tigers assume a stalking position and prepare to strike when they turn their back to them in the cage.
10. Tigers have suffered greatly at the hand of humans for their beauty and majestic appeal - they have been hunted nearly to extinction in most of their former territories - the largest pool is now in India where recent reports suggest there may be as few as fifteen hundred of the Bengal tigers remaining.
11. An adult male tiger in the wild requires around one hundred and fifty kilograms of meat a month.
12. If Chinese traditional medicine makers were to stop using animal parts - tigers, rhinos and many other endangered animals would benefit greatly.
13. One of the best places for watching tigers in the wild is the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh - central India - a place which I plan to visit some time next year.