The Big Cat family includes lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs and cougars. Only the lion, tiger, and jaguar can roar. These are sometimes called the Great Cats. All Big Cats are categorized as mammals as well as carnivores, which means that they eat meat.
All of the Big Cats are either threatened or endangered, which means that there are very few of them left in the world and if we don’t do something to protect them in the wild, then they may disappear entirely.
Lifespan: 10-14 years in the wild and 20 years or more in captivity
Weight: Up to 550 lbs
Size: Up to 10 1/2 feet long
Status: Threatened Habitat: Open savannah and desert areas of Africa south of the Sahara; also in the Gir Forest National Park in northwest India.
Did you know?
- A lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away
- Only male lions have the large mane, but they can lose it after being neutered.
- Lions are the only cats that live in groups. These groups are called prides
- Lionesses do most of the hunting and the males defend the territory
- Like most cats, lions are nocturnal, sleeping around 21 hours a day
Lifespan: 8 to 20 years in the wild and up to 26 years in captivity
Weight: Up to 570 lbs
Size: Up to 10 feet long
Status: Endangered Habitat: The Bengal tiger is most numerous in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans in eastern India and Bangladesh where the River Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal. They are also found in other areas of India, Nepal and Burma.
Did you know?
- In 1900 the tiger population of India was estimated at 40,000-50,000. By 1972, this number had dropped to 1,850
- No two tigers have exactly the same stripes
- A tigerís roar can be heard as far as two miles away
- A hungry tiger can eat as much as 65 pounds in one night
- Once there were eight tiger subspecies, but three became extinct in the 20th century