Caspian Tiger (Panthera tigris virgata)
The Caspian Tiger was native to the sparse forests and river corridors east of the Black Sea, around the Caspian sea and extending eastwards through Turkey, Iran, and through Central Asia into western China. The Caspian Tiger averaged 10 feet in length. Males were much larger than females with an average weight of 450 pounds. Females were averaged 250 pounds.
The Tiger’s coat was brighter and more uniform than that of the Siberian tiger. The stripes were narrower, fuller and more closely set than that of other tiger species. Pure black patterns were found only on the head, neck, the middle of the back and at the tip of the tail. The contrast between the summer and winter coats was sharp, Caspians had the thickest fur of all tigers.
The Caspian Tiger almost made it into the 21st century. The last documented and confirmed killing was recorded in 1970 in Turkey. The last sighting of the animal in the wild was in 1998 in the wilderness between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The animal was driven to extinction through over-hunting of them and their prey. The conversion of their habitat into farmland also contributed to the species’ demise.