Sumatran Tiger

"Panthera Tigris Sumatrae" by Wesley Burt (graphite)

I chose the Sumatran tiger because I’ve long been fascinated by tigers and other big cats. They’re such majestic animals and the Sumatran tiger in particular has always interested me with its patterns and distinct longer hair around the cheeks and head. Those attributes as well as the deep eyes make them really fun to draw and appealing to me in recreating on the page. My roots are in traditional drawing and I felt like I wanted to represent this animal through the lines and patterning in the way I work with graphite; moving it around on paper to make it appear alive and conscious.
— Wesley Burt

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The Sumatran tiger is found exclusively on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Their habitat ranges from lowland forest to mountain forest and includes evergreen, swamp and tropical rainforests.

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Family Life

Like all tiger subspecies, fathers do not participate in raising cubs. They can communicate with one another by rubbing heads, roaring and grunting. Scent marks and visual signposts, such as scratch marks, allow tigers to track other tigers in the area and identify individuals and territories. Although tigers prefer to be solitary, they interact regularly when crossing overlapping territories.


Their live in the wild for 10 to 15 years and can reach 20 years in captivity.

Hunting Habits/Diet

Sumatran tigers are carnivorous. Their diet mostly consists of ungulates, birds, fish and monkeys, all of which are found in the islands of Indonesia. The Sumatran tiger does not climb very well, so prey that can get high up into the boughs of the surrounding trees often evade capture. The Sumatran tiger is a good swimmer, however, and can pursue its prey in water quite efficiently.


Between 500 and 600 Sumatran tigers are estimated to remain in the wild. They are considered a Critically Endangered animal.

Fun Fact

Sumatran tigers are the smallest tiger. They are such proficient swimmers that they can easily cross rivers and lakes up to five miles wide.

Why are they Endangered?

The Sumatran tiger’s population is dwindling rapidly due to illegal hunting. China is considered the largest consumer and producer of manufactured products containing tiger parts and poachers kill these tigers to satisfy that need. Deforestation is also a problem for the Sumatran tigers. As forests are being destroyed, the natural habitat of the tiger and its prey disappears, causing them to die out steadily.


Critically Endangered

"Sumatran Roar"

Sumatran Tiger