Tigers are one of the most endangered and most recognized species on the planet. Six Flags Great Adventure is very fortunate to have both Bengal and Siberian tigers. They are the largest living cat species, easily identified by their striped coat, and are solitary and territorial animals. Tigris Asiana is also to home to a variety of other Asian animal species.
Bengal tigers are the only subspecies of tiger to have color variations. In addition to the typical orange with black stripes, Bengal tigers exhibit three alternative colorations, namely white with black stripes, golden tabby, and pure white. The most common of these variations is white tigers, animals that are white with black stripes. The white coloration is caused by a mutation affecting pigmentation, and is neither albinism nor an adaptation for snowy weather as is sometimes believed. Though possible in the wild, the coloration is extremely rare and wild white tigers have shorter lifespans as they are poorly camouflaged for the Indian jungle. Bengal tigers live in southern Asia and are endangered with fewer than 2500 left in the wild.
Also known as the Amur tiger, the Siberian tiger is the largest tiger subspecies and the largest living cat species alive today. They can be 13-14 feet long and weigh over 600 pounds. They are found further North than their cousin, the Bengal tiger, and their larger body size is an adaptation to a colder environment. A common misconception is that Siberian tigers are white since they live farther north and encounter snow more frequently, but Siberian tigers are always orange and black. In the 1930s, the Siberian tiger population fell between 20 to 30 individuals, and while it has since improved, today there are only an estimated 360 wild Siberian tigers.
Nilgai are the largest Asiatic antelope and are the most common wild animal in northern India and Eastern Pakistan. The disappearance of tigers from this region has caused a boom in Nilgai populations. Males have short horns which grow less than a foot. Males compete with each other by using threatening posture displays and neck wrestling, sometimes leading to both males kneeling and lunging at each other with their horns. Both males and females have a coloration around the ankles similar to white gym socks.
The yak is a relative of cattle native to Northern China, Russia, and Mongolia. There is a small wild population of fewer than 10,000 that is considered vulnerable to extinction but a very large domesticated population of 14 million. They are used for their milk, fur, meat, and kept as beasts of burden. They have a thick coat of hair that protects them from the elements and extreme cold. They have large hooved feet.