Extinct Tiger Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Though we can still see different kinds of tigers in the wild, some have become extinct. Come learn about these extinct tigers, where they lived, how big they were and why they disappeared forever.

Extinct Tigers

On a zoo field trip you visit the tiger exhibit and are amazed at how big and powerful they really are. However, there are some kinds of tigers you'll never be able to see in the wild or in a zoo because they are extinct and no longer exist.

All tigers are endangered, or in danger of disappearing forever. While there once were nine subspecies of tigers, three have completely died out and will never return. Let's learn about these tigers and why they became extinct.

Bali Tigers

Bali tigers (pronounced BAH-lee) were the smallest kind of tigers, with the largest males only weighing around 220 pounds. That's about the same as the weight of three Labrador retrievers. The Bali tigers' fur had fewer stripes than other tigers, making it a darker, golden color.

Bali tiger skin
Bali tiger skin

Bali tigers were only found on a small island in the Indian Ocean called Bali, so there weren't very many of them to start with. As people started moving to the island, they took over land the tigers needed to survive, which caused their numbers to fall.

Then, people began hunting the remaining tigers for their skin and organs. Unfortunately, there weren't many good places to hide, and, because it was an island, there was nowhere for the tigers to go to escape the hunters. This made the tigers easy prey and the last Bali tiger was killed by a hunter in 1937.

Javan Tigers

Javan tigers (pronounced JAH-vun) lived on the Indonesian island of Java. These tigers were only a little bigger than the Bali tigers, with the largest males weighing about 250 pounds which is about the same as a large dirt bike. They also had longer, skinny noses and skinny stripes.

Javan tiger
Javan tiger

There were so many Javan tigers that they were considered pests, so people poisoned them. In addition, due to an increase in human population on the island, the Javan tigers' habitat was severely reduced. The people also hunted the same animals that the tigers needed to survive, which reduced the tigers' food supply and many of them starved to death. The last Javan tigers died off in the 1970s.

Caspian Tigers

Caspian tigers were one of the biggest kinds of tigers with the largest males weighing almost 530 pounds - almost as much as three adult men. They had huge paws, stubby ears, a hefty body and cheeks covered in fur.

Caspian tigers lived in many countries including Iraq, Iran, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Turkey and parts of Russia. They hung out in places like bushy, coastal swamps, grasslands and forests.

Caspian tiger
Caspian tiger

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