At PrideRock, we are known for our love of all wildlife, but a big part of our population is made up of big cats. Our resident cats currently are comprised of tigers, lions, a cougar, and a bobcat. Each one has a fun and unique personality, but besides that, how much do you really know about big cats? We thought it would be fun to list 21 facts to help you learn a little more about our residents’ individual species.
1. Big cat species are found around the world, in Africa, Asia, and North, Central, and South America
2. Not all big cats can roar. Only tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards have distinct larynx characteristics that allow them to roar.
3. Big cats have muscle fibers which are three times as powerful as a human’s.
4. The cougar holds the Guinness record for the animal with the highest number of names, with over 40 in English alone.
5. Cougars can live anywhere from forests, to deserts, to mountains. There are over 30,000 cougars in the United States today.
6. Cougars have the ability to jump as far as 45 feet!
7. Cougars live about 10 to 20 years in the wild and over 20 years in captivity.
8. Lions with black manes are alpha males. A dark-maned lion’s testosterone levels are higher than the levels in other males, his cubs are more likely to survive, and he is more likely to recover from wounds.
9. The African Lion is a social species. They are strong, powerful, and ferocious and live in prides of about 10 to 15 lions.
10. The lionesses in the pride do most of the hunting and the lions actually sleep up to 20 hours per day.
11. Lion’s make their presence known with a roar that can actually be heard up to five miles away!
12. Male lions lose their mane when neutered.
13. Lions can take down the biggest prey of all big cats – an elephant weighing several tons.
14. Although lions can, occasionally, be taller or longer than tigers, average overall height, weight, and sheer mass rest firmly in the tigers favor, particularly the Siberian tiger, which can be 800 pounds and 11ft long!
15. Though Tigers are known for exceptional night vision – ideal for their nocturnal hunting lifestyle – Siberian Tigers are actually born blind.
16. Wild tiger numbers have plummeted by more than 95 percent in the last hundred years, dropping from around 100,000 tigers a century ago to fewer than 3,900 today. Although they have lost 96 percent of their historic range, countries in the tiger’s historic range are taking steps to protect their remaining habitat.
17. The roar of a Bengal can be heard up to two miles away.
18. When tigers hunt, they catch prey large enough to last for several meals.
19. Though many felines have long, sinuous tails, an adult bobcat’s averages just 6 to 7 inches in length; the word bobcat is a reference to this stubby appendage.
2o. Wild bobcats do the majority of their hunting in low-light conditions. The animals usually wake up three hours before sunset and then go back to sleep around midnight; they wake up again roughly an hour before dawn.
21. Fully-grown bobcats can weigh up to 33 pounds. For the most part, they eat rabbits, birds, rodents, and other fairly small creatures. However, the cats are also extremely adept at killing adult white-tailed deer.
We hope you learned a little more about our four-legged residents and that you pass this along to educate someone else on big cats. The more you know, the bigger the difference we can all make in these animals’ lives.
To help our cats, please donate today!