LIKE Bengal tigers, Siberian tigers have reasonably short gestation period in comparison to the elephants’. The elephant’s gestation period can last more than a year whereas in case of tigers it ranges from three to four months. The life cycle of an amur tiger begins with a cub one that is born blind and helpless in a sheltered den. The cubs continue to grow until they reach adulthood. The female spends almost a week with the mating partner. Females become sexually mature at 3 – 4 years of age while males attain maturity at five years. Perhaps it’s time to go through some of the most interesting facts about the Siberian tiger life cycle.
Siberian Tiger Life Cycle – How Do Siberian Tigers Reproduce? – Reproduction Facts
Like Bengal tigers, Siberian tigers do not have specific mating months. They will mate all year round. Like most other big cats, the female Siberian tiger scratches on trees or leave urine deposits for any male to mate. These deposits communicate to the mating partner that the female is receptive and she’s ready to mate.
Once the male finds a female the pair spends 6 to 7 days together.
The gestation period ranges from 3 to 3.5 months after which she’ll produce 2 to 4 cubs. The pregnant female searches a suitable cave or a den to give birth.
Amur tiger cubs remain inside the den for as long as 4 to 8 weeks. They will open their eyes seven days after birth. Siberian tiger cubs have blue eyes. The mother often relocates its cubs in an attempt to keep them safe from potential predators.
The cubs will rely on mother’s milk for the first 3 to 6 months.
The mother goes out to hunt and in the meantime the cubs stay behind helpless in a den. Compared to females, the male cubs leave their mother earlier. Even when they establish territories the female cubs do not go far from their mother.
Amur tigers do not reach adulthood until they become 5 or 6 years of age. The 3-year-old tiger is a subadult individual. Females attain maturity earlier than the males.
Siberian tigers can live up to 15 or 18 years in the natural habitat. (Learn More: Siberian Tiger Lifespan)