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Tigers as devoted mothers

Tiger cubs are tiny, blind and helpless when they are born. But tigress is a loving mother and brings up her cubs with great care and effort. Despite this usually only two make it to adulthood from a normal litter of six. Until they are about three months old, the cubs are not allowed to trail the mother and food is brought to them. Their lair has to be frequently shifted because if detected they may be killed by other predators and scavengers and even by rival male tigers. They are trained and disciplined to be quiet while the mother is away on hunting errands. Their first lessons in hunting consist of learning to pounce on their mother's tail which she shifts to dodge them and playing hide and seek with her.

They learn to stalk by searching for mother who hides under cover and practice by stalking each other. Training hunts take place in bushy cover during daytime, pursuing deer fawns, langurs or monkeys foraging on the ground. The cubs are taught to keep clear of man.

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