Bali Tiger – It Was Very Good

Bali Tiger
Skin of a female Bali tiger held at the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense in Indonesia. It is one of four preserved Bali tiger skins in the world.

Bali Tiger (Panthera tigris balica)

The Bali Tiger was native to the Indonesian island of Bali. It was one of three subspecies of tigers found in Indonesia, together with the Javan Tiger, which is also extinct, and the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger.

Bali tigers had short fur that was a deep, dark orange and had fewer stripes than other tiger subspecies. Occasionally, between the stripes, were small black spots. Bali tigers also had unusual, bar-shaped patterns on their heads. The white fur on their underbellies often stood out more than that of other tiger subspecies. It was the smallest of the tiger subspecies.

Bali Tiger
Adult male Bali Tiger shot by Mr. Zandveld on Bali (1912)

Considering the small size of Bali the original population of Bali Tigers could not have been large. The tiger was driven to extinction through habitat loss and hunting. During the Dutch Colonial period (1840s – 1940s) the animal was highly sought after by European sportsmen.

The last specimen definitely recorded was a female shot at Sumbar Kima, west Bali, on September 27, 1937. The Bali Tiger was never captured alive on film or displayed in a public zoo. But a few skulls, skins, and bones are preserved in museums.

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Author: Jonathon

Would rather be out swimming, running, or camping. Works in state government. Spent a youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

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