How long do tigers live in the wild and in captivity?

The question in the title has been prompted by a report in The Sun newspaper today in which they state that the world's oldest Bengal tiger, Raja, has just died at the extraordinary age of 25. And for the last 14 years of his life, he lived with three legs because one of them was ripped off in a crocodile attack.


So captive tigers can live to a relatively advanced age. My research indicates that captive tigers have lived for as long as 26 years, and 20 years is not uncommon. There is even a report of a female giving birth in captivity to a single cub at the Rotterdam Zoo at 17 years of age. Note: If you want a reference for this information, please ask in a comment.

In the wild, as you might expect, tiger lifespan is much shorter and a female is undoubtedly doing well if she reaches 14 or 15 years of age. The Internet tells me that tigers in the wild might live to about the age of 10. However, there are different opinions on this. Some say that tigers in the wild lived between10-15 years of age.

We are told that Raja didn't show any symptoms of serious illness up to the moment he died which also seems remarkable. His body has been laid out on a stretcher at the shelter and surrounded by flowers.

Raja was attacked 14 years ago by a crocodile while swimming across a creek in the Sundarbans which is the world's largest mangrove swamp and a major reserve for Bengal tigers which straddles Bangladesh on the east and India on the west.

There are old reports by zoologists of tigers being killed by packs of dogs after an incredibly aggressive confrontation.

When tigers become independent and disperse from the natal range to find their own home range, it is a dangerous time as they can sustain injuries in fights with other tigers. Other ways to shorten a tiger's life is death through illness and injury when attacking prey.


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