View Full Version : Mating Behaviour of Tigers

Sabyasachi Patra
13-04-2009, 09:30 PM
Behaviour during oestrus: The tigress becomes restless. She gives vent to moaning calls and moves around spraying scent. She drinks water more frequently about 3-4 times a day.

When a tigress comes in contact with another male, she is cautious as the tiger is much larger. Normally a tiger will make a purring sound when the tigress moves closer indicating his interest in mating. They may take few hours to upto a day to develop mutual confidence. Once she develops confidence, then she will roll over her back in a playful manner. When they are in a playful mood, you can see their tails moving left to right with spring in their steps, rubbing of face and body etc.

Once mating starts, then it happens at frequent intervals with about 20 times a day. Studies with captive tigers have shown that frequency is more and can go upto 52 times.

Coital act:
The tigress moves closer to the male and rubs her face. Most of the times when the tigress comes closer, the tiger gets up and is ready. At times a gentle nudge also does the trick. The tigress lies on her belly and the tiger mounts her. The tigress moves her tail to one side. When the actual entry happens, the tiger grabs the tigress by the scruff of her neck. This period lasts for about 10-15 seconds. The end is signalled by a loud roar. The tigress turns her head and takes a swipe at the tiger with her forleg. The tiger instinctively takes evasive action. The tigress then rolls over her back to facilitate penetration of the semen.

At times when a transient male tiger passes through the area, and its dominance is not clearly established the female engages in false mating. During that time, she won't roll over her back.

The following image is when the acutal ejaculation happened and the female has already started its roar and is about to turn her head and take a swipe at the male. This mating sequence was timed at 47 seconds with the actual mounting lasting for 10 seconds.

Canon EOS 1D Mark II, Canon EF 28-135 f3.5-5.6 IS, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/80 sec, full frame.


Sabyasachi Patra
15-04-2009, 12:03 PM
This image depicts the mating behaviour of tigers. After the coital act is over, the male releases his hold over the lady (you can see him earlier holding her by the scruff of her neck) and gives vent to a roar while the lady gives a copulatory cry. The lady then takes a swipe with her paw at the male and the male instinctively takes evasive action. During the initial few times of the mating period, there are chances of fights between the female and male and a bit of sparring is also seen at times.

Canon EOS 1 D Mark II, Canon EF 28-135 f3.5-5.6 IS lens, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/80 sec. full frame.


Sabyasachi Patra
07-06-2009, 01:13 PM
This image shows the tigress ready and the tiger about to mount. Mark the tail of the tigress. It is sharply turned towards the side.

Sabyasachi Patra
07-06-2009, 01:24 PM
The tigress is seen rolling over her back after the male has disengaged. At times when there are a few male tigers fighting for dominance or when suddenly a new male has arrived and its dominance is not established, the female mates but doesn't roll over her back.

Murugan Anantharaman
09-06-2009, 10:58 AM
This is brilliant sabysachi.Its almost like a step by step guide to tiger mating behaviour. Lucky you got to capture these moments. I have only heard the roar after the mating and then seen both the tigers a few meters apart, but never witnessed the actual event occuring. Excellent documentation!!!

Usha Harikrishnan
10-06-2009, 01:49 PM
Wow..Brilliant... Well taken & a gud depiction of their behaviorial pattern.. Cheers..:)

ema fatima
17-06-2009, 12:18 PM
where is you capture this whole process?

Sabyasachi Patra
17-06-2009, 12:23 PM
This image sequence was photographed this year in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh.

V S Sankar
01-03-2013, 07:47 PM
Great essay and pics sir.Lot of new information!


Roopak Gangadharan
01-03-2013, 09:16 PM
Lovely series Sir....with some well timed images to highlight the behaviour patterns. I am yet see the mating of tigers.


Sabyasachi Patra
01-03-2013, 10:42 PM
I am blessed to have seen some of these moments. I guess in my past life I had done some good things to have got a bit of blessings. I hope to capture it in film someday, if I am lucky again. Given the diverse subjects that I am now undertaking for my filming projects, I can only pray.