Why Are There No Tigers In Africa?

Why Are There No Tigers In Africa?

Posted by Adam Smith on 12th Sep 2017

Despite being home to elephants, lions, hippos, and more dominant animals, there have never been any wild tigers in Africa.

It’s surprising to many. As part of the Felidae family of cats, ancestors of tigers originated in Africa. The family includes cheetahs, lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars - some of which do live in the African plains.

However, it is believed that one branch of the family travelled to Asia roughly two million years go, eventually evolving into the striped predators that sit atop the food chain in areas of India, Nepal and elsewhere today.

Although this is the common belief among researchers, no one knows for definite why tigers chose long ago to migrate from their homeland and never return.

J.L. David Smith, a professor at the University of Minnesota's department of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, explained: “One can offer a series of speculations about why tigers did not get to Africa, but they are all speculations.”

Wildlife Conservation Society figures show that there are currently around 3,000 tigers left in the wild, and the animals are endangered in Asia as a result of poaching, loss of habitat, and a lack of prey.

Could tigers survive in the wild in Africa?

Since relatives such as leopards and lions live in Africa, many have wondered whether tigers could also live on the continent, but it’s unfortunately impossible to give a conclusive answer.

In September 2003, two captive-born South China tiger cubs were introduced to South Africa by Li Quan, an ex-fashion executive from Beijing, and her husband Stuart Bray, founders of the Save China’s Tigers Foundation.

The two purchased 30,000 hectares of land in South Africa for the breeding project, which aimed to rewild them in the continent before moving them back to China, but it was met with criticism after several of the cubs died.

Due to the vast differences between Asia and Africa’s ecosystems, we may never know whether or not tigers could survive on the continent.


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Mr Spud commented 1 month ago
"A tiger...in Africa? Palin

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nitinkumar commented 2 months ago
Love this. Export to African jungles.

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McDennis Atayi commented 1 year ago
It could be due to the harshness of the whether that the Tigers can't survive here?

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Patrick commented 1 year ago
Is a surprise to me because lions and other wild animals are found in africa. Is a good thing to know that

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Patrick Mulei commented 1 year ago
Apart from Mr Struat Bray's experiment with her wife on the tiger project in South Africa, has there been any other attempt to breed Tigers in Africa Continent? I find it very surprising that tigers cousins-the pantheras(lion, leopard etc survive in Africa) What, then , are the tiger's biological special features that they exhibit??

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Snow Africa Adventure
replied 1 year ago
Great Job
scarlet commented 1 year ago
you are right...

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Lamonte kendrick
replied 1 month ago
Maybe they have chosen the wrong eco sytstem. Tigers may require a more wet tropical environment . the lion is not a desert cat neither of the open plain He is a hunter from a sneak approach.not open areas liken to the lion and the cheetah. He is large but has the surprise attribitutes of the domesticated house cat.
Steven g.
replied 2 weeks ago
Lions hunt in packs. Tigers hunt alone and don't share their kill unless it's nursing. Their is no comparing the two. Lions are social and live in packs tigers don't!
Ben commented 1 year ago
The question of not having tigers in Africa has always busied my mind and I want to know more more about bit.


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man commented 1 year ago
bad job


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bobb commented 1 year ago
i do not get it they were they onec

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Florent Ipananga commented 1 year ago
Hello Adam!
Your Blog is absolutely informative. I really appreciate your work. Inspired by your blog I made some research & have written a blog about the absence of this biggest cat in the paradise of wildlife like Tanzania. you can check it out @ https://snowafricaadventure.com/blog/why-there-is-no-tiger-in-tanzania/

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Robert Simpson commented 2 years ago
They didn't "get to" Africa because they were lions when they left and over the several million years, they have retained their capability to reproduce cubs with lions, which are often sterile offspring.


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Seth commented 2 years ago
They would go great on the east edge of the Congo

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