The Caspian tiger is also known as the Persian tiger and was known to be a beautiful animal, thought it is thought to have become extinct by the late 1950s. There have been several supposed sightings of the tiger since then, but nothing has been proved, which means that the species is truly extinct or just not available in large enough numbers to be spotted.
The third largest tiger in the world, the Caspian tiger was quite long and stocky and also had unusually large paws compared to other species of tigers. The species had very short ears, furry cheeks, and long hair all over the body surface. The coloring of the Caspian tiger was very much like the Bengal tiger. There is a specimen available for view at the British Museum that shows that the cats were yellowish gold on the back and the flanks with the sides of the body lighter with stripes that varied in color. Male Caspian tigers were very large weighing in at 169-240 kilograms while the females weighed in at a more modest 85-135 kilograms.
The Caspian tiger was known to inhabit Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Caucasus, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The species seemed to be able to adapt well to different climates and areas, as long as there were available food sources. While the species was known to be in all of these areas they were solitary animals and only socialized with one another during mating season and the Caspian tiger lived for ten to fifteen years.
It is thought that the Caspian tiger would breed during any time of the year but it was most common in the winter or spring. The mating period of the species lasted 20 to 30 days and if the female did not become pregnant this time she would go into heat again during the same year. When a Caspian Tiger became pregnant she would remain so for about 100 days and then she would give birth to two or three cubs. The cubs were born blind and their eyes did not open for ten days. The tigress was responsible for feeding her cubs for the first eight weeks with her milk and wouldn’t leave the den for at least two weeks, and when they did so it was under the watchful eye of their mother. The cubs would start to hunt on their own by 11 weeks, but up until this point the mother was responsible for feeding herself and the cubs, which was a lot of work because the female raised the cubs on her own. Caspian Tigers gave birth every three to four years.
Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) drawing
The Caspian Tiger became extinct because it was used by the Romans in the arenas and was made to fight against gladiators as well as other animals. The species was also heavily hunted by the Russians who had a plan to clear land and they didn’t feel that there was room for the tiger in their new plans for the land. In other areas the species was hunted because it was known to kill livestock that people were dependent upon. It didn’t take long for the species to disappear altogether being hunted by so many.