Do tigers kill tiger cubs?

There are records of males killing cubs, and some of these instances of infanticide occurred at kills. So for young cubs, the vicinity of a kill can be a dangerous place because of the likelihood of encountering other tigers there. 

Tiger cubs are vulnerable to being killed at kill sites by adult male tigers. Photo: Pixabay.

The words are quoted verbatim from the book Wild Cats of the World. I take the words to mean that at a kill site where there is competition to eat the carcass of an animal, male tigers will kill a much smaller tiger i.e. a cub, to ensure access to the food. 

To the best of my knowledge, tigers do not kill cubs in order to bring the mother into heat so that they can procreate and generate their own offspring. Tigers don't do this or at least my research indicates this. But lions do.

My research also indicates that sometimes in India's tiger reserves they use a buffalo, a live buffalo actually, as bait to draw tigers into an area so that tourists can watch and photograph them. Bait sites are dangerous places for cubs and it has been found that tigresses with small cubs rarely take buffalo used as baits. 

However, a tigress with older and less vulnerable offspring will make a visit to buffalo bait because the meal is attractive to them. They have to increase their killing rate by an estimated 50% when satisfying the needs of two cubs.

There is a story online concerning a zoo in Israel where a female tiger killed her two cubs because, it is believed, she was stressed. It seems that female tigers sometimes kill the cubs under stressful circumstances including being exceptionally hungry. But more research needs to be done on this I feel.


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