PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 November, 2008, 12:00am

Tigers are the world's biggest cats. They are fierce and sometimes kill people. Let's take a closer look at the kings of Asia

Top of the food chain

Tigers have no enemies except man. They are the top dogs of the food chain. These cats must eat meat in order to live. They are great hunters. They can grow very big and can weigh up to 300kgs.

The blue tigers of Fujian

Most tigers are orange with black stripes. Some are white with black stripes. Others are golden. But there are stories of blue tigers in Fujian province on the mainland. These are called Maltese tigers. Some people think it is an honour to be killed by a Maltese tiger.

Top of the pops

In a worldwide vote by the television channel Animal Planet, tigers were the world's favourite animal. They were even more popular than dogs.

Cats in the temple

In Thailand there is a temple where tigers rule. The Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province is a home for wild animals. Among them are tigers. The tigers walk around freely once a day and can be petted by tourists.

Marked like a king

Tigers have the Chinese marking for king on their foreheads. They are one of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The martial art of hung ga is based on the movements of a tiger. Long ago the tiger represented war when China was an empire. It was the sign of the top general in the army. In Buddhism it is one of the three 'senseless' animals. The other two are the monkey, for greed, and the deer for love sickness.

now do this

See if you can find the answers to these questions in the text

1) Where in the world is there a temple with tame tigers?

2) Which martial art is based on the movements of the tiger?

3) What animal do Buddhists use to represent love sickness?

4) What colour are the legendary tigers of Fujian?


1. Thailand, 2. hung ga, 3. a deer, 4. blue