Two types of tigers stand out from the rest – the Bengal tiger and the Siberian tiger. The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) are two of Earth’s most prominent and most muscular living cats. Both species inhabit Asia, with the Bengal found in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh and the Siberian in Russia, China, North Korea, and Mongolia.

Bengal Tiger vs Siberian Tiger

From the mighty Bengal tiger in India, Nepal and Bangladesh to the enchanting Siberian tiger in Russia, China, North Korea and Mongolia – these two remarkable species of tigers feature both unique features that set them apart from other types of tigers as well as many shared characteristics which bind them together.

Both species are essential in maintaining their respective habitats and helping keep their ecosystems healthy. They provide necessary services, such as keeping animal populations in check and vital to the food chain. In addition, they are also a source of inspiration for many cultures around the world. They revere them for their strength and beauty. In this article, we will compare their differences while uncovering their similarities.

Siberian Tiger running in the snow
Siberian Tiger running in the snow | @dickvanduijn


Bengal and Siberian tigers are two of the most majestic animals in the world. While both species share similar physical traits, they have several distinct differences.

The Bengal tiger has a bright orange coat with black stripes and a white underbelly, while the Siberian tiger has a thicker coat of fur that is usually darker and often has more stripes. Their eyes are also different, with the Bengal tiger having yellow eyes and the Siberian tiger having grayish-green eyes. Their ears and nose are also distinct, with the Bengal tiger having more prominent ears and a shorter nose than the Siberian tiger.

The tail of a Bengal tiger is usually tipped with black markings, while the Siberian tiger’s tail has no such marking and is generally longer.

Big cat lying down in Ranthambore National Park, India
Bengal Tiger lying down in Ranthambore National Park, India | @davidwhelanphotography

Size and Weight

Another significant difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers is their size and weight. The average male Bengal tiger can weigh anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds, whereas a male Siberian Tiger can reach up to 660 pounds.

The Bengal tiger is also generally smaller and lighter than the Siberian, growing up to 8 feet in length compared to the 10 feet for the Siberian Tiger. Females from both species are generally smaller than males, though the Bengal is still more prominent than the Siberian. Their size makes them distinct from the other types of tigers, with the Bengal being the largest and the Siberian second in line.


The behaviour patterns of these two species also differ considerably. The Bengal tiger tends to be more social than its Siberian counterpart, often living and hunting in small groups. On the other hand, Siberian tigers are usually solitary creatures who prefer to hunt alone. Bengal tigers are also known to be more aggressive, whereas the Siberian tiger is usually more docile. Male Bengals and Siberians will challenge each other for dominance over territory when they meet, with the stronger one eventually claiming it by chasing off the other.

Both tigers prefer to hunt large prey such as deer, wild boar, and buffalo, with Bengal tigers sometimes eating smaller animals like rabbits if necessary. They are also excellent swimmers and climbers and can jump up to 12 feet into the air to catch their prey. They will also defend their territory from intruders and can be aggressive if threatened.

Big cat walking through a shallow forest stream
Siberian Tiger walking through a shallow forest stream | @claudiakraheberger

Although both species share many of the same traits and behaviour, there are some critical differences between Bengal and Siberian tigers. Their hunting habits differ slightly, with Bengal tigers preferring to hunt alone, while Siberian tigers are more likely to pursue in small groups. Additionally, Bengals are typically more aggressive than Siberians and will fight each other over territory more quickly and fiercely. 

In mating, Bengal tigers are more likely to remain monogamous, often pairing up with the same mate for life. Siberian tigers, meanwhile, tend to be promiscuous and will switch mates every so often. This distinct trait may be because male Siberian tigers have much larger territories than their Bengal counterparts, meaning they must cover much more ground to find a mate. The way they look for mates is also different, with the Bengal tiger relying more on scent and the Siberian more heavily on vision.

Their females’ lifestyles also differ; Bengal tigers are typically solitary and dedicated to raising their cubs on their own, while female Siberian tigers will often leave their cubs in the care of a male for protection.

Range and Habitat

Bengal tigers live in tropical forests, grasslands, and mangrove swamps. They prefer to stay close to water sources such as rivers and lakes but can also be found in more arid areas depending on the season.

Siberian tigers live primarily in coniferous forests or taiga regions with plenty of snow cover. They migrate long distances to find food and have been spotted as far north as the Russian Far East.


Both Bengal and Siberian tigers are listed as endangered species due to poaching and habitat loss. Extensive conservation efforts have helped raise their numbers slightly over recent years; however, they remain highly threatened due to their rarity in the wild.

Due to their great size and strength, Bengal and Siberian tigers have long been admired by people worldwide. They are both majestic animals with unique features that stand out from other big cats. Conservation efforts should continue to ensure that these awe-inspiring creatures remain protected for future generations.

Siberian Tiger snarls at the camera
Siberian Tiger snarls at the camera | @karthik_val

Threats posed to the Tigers

Some main threats to Bengal and Siberian tigers include poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, and competition with humans for resources. Poaching is a significant issue that threatens both species, as they are highly valued on the black market for their fur and body parts. The destruction of natural habitats due to deforestation and other human activities is an immense threat to both species, for they necessitate large areas to thrive.

Additionally, climate change can impact their living habitats, and competition with humans for resources such as food and water can put them at risk. Continued conservation efforts are needed to protect these tigers from these threats to ensure their long-term survival.

To help save tigers from extinction and protect their habitats, governments can designate tiger reserves and develop regulations to limit hunting. Furthermore, local communities must be educated on preserving these majestic creatures to ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from their presence.

Education and awareness are essential in the conservation of tigers, and public support is necessary for their protection. Conservation organizations can also play a role by bringing attention to the plight of these animals and raising funds for conservation efforts.

Tiger walks in the snow
Large Siberian Tiger walks in the snow | @galinabonnardphotography


Where to find Bengal and Siberian tigers in the wild?

Bengal tigers are in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Myanmar. The best way to observe these magnificent cats is by taking a safari tour through one of the many national parks located in these countries. Tiger reserves such as Ranthambore National Park in India are well-known for having high chances of spotting a Bengal tiger up close.

Siberian tigers can be found in the Russian Far East and parts of China and North Korea. The enormous population is located in the Primorsky region of Russia, where several nature reserves are dedicated to preserving this species. A guided tour through one of these reserves is the best way to observe Siberian tigers in their natural habitat.

Tiger mother and cub in Bandipur National Park
Bengal tiger mother and cub in Bandipur National Park | @arvind.karthik7

Bengal and Siberian tigers have awed people with their majesty and strength for centuries. The best way to appreciate these creatures is on a safari tour of their native environment, both for the experience and to contribute to conservation efforts simultaneously!

Unleash the spirit of exploration and embark on an unforgettable safari! Your journey will offer you a priceless opportunity to commune with nature and gain in-depth knowledge about tiger behaviour, diet and habitat requirements. This newfound understanding can be applied towards research that helps support conservation efforts for Bengal or Siberian tigers – so don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Tips for spotting the Bengal and Siberian tiger on safari

  1. Do your research before heading out on a safari. Knowing about the behaviour and habitats of Bengal and Siberian tigers beforehand will help you spot them more easily.
  2. Stick to less travelled roads to avoid human interference or disruption of the natural habitat. This will also help reduce stress levels for the animals.
  3. Bring binoculars and cameras with high-magnification capabilities to get the best view of these animals.
  4. Be patient and stay quiet – tigers are more likely to be seen if humans remain still and out of sight.
  5. Lastly, remember that these creatures are wild animals—respecting their space and never approaching them is essential. Viewing them from a safe distance is the best way to ensure your safety and the animals.

Tips for Interacting with a Bengal and a Siberian tiger

  1. NEVER attempt to interact with a Bengal or Siberian tiger in the wild! This is not only dangerous for you but also for the animal itself.
  2. If you encounter one, remain still and avoid sudden movements that could frighten or agitate the animal.
  3. Speak in calming tones and slowly move away from the animal. Do not make direct eye contact or attempt to approach it.
  4. If you are visiting a conservation centre or wildlife sanctuary, follow all safety rules and regulations laid out by the staff—these places have been set up expressly for the protection of these animals and should be respected as such.
  5. Always remember that tigers are wild animals, and interacting with them carries inherent risks. Use caution and common sense when approaching them in any situation.
Male Siberian tiger walks through the forest in Bandhavgarh National Park
Male Siberian tiger walks through the forest in Bandhavgarh National Park | @kapilsharmawildlife

Can a Bengal and Siberian Tiger mate?

Yes, Bengal and Siberian tigers can mate. However, it is rare for these two subspecies to interbreed in the wild due to their geographic separation. In captivity, however, crossbreeding between different subspecies of tigers has become more common. It is important to remember that hybridizing tigers should be done only with great caution as it could result in genetic abnormalities. Crossbreeding between two subspecies can also contribute to the endangerment of both species, as hybrid tigers may not display desirable traits and thus reduce the overall population. Therefore, it is generally advised to keep Bengal and Siberian tigers separate or only breed them with other members of their subspecies.

Do Bengal and Siberian tigers fight?

While Bengal and Siberian tigers will typically avoid each other in the wild, there have been instances of fighting between them. In most cases, this happens when a hungry tiger from one of the subspecies invades another’s territory in search of food. Male tigers may also become aggressive towards each other if they compete over resources like females or parts. When two tigers fight, it may be a fierce battle that can last for hours and end with one or both being injured. Therefore, it is essential to remember that Bengal and Siberian tigers should never be allowed to contact each other in captivity as it could lead to severe injury or even death. Both species should be respected and kept separate to preserve their population.


The Bengal and Siberian tigers are two of the most magnificent animals in the world, but they also require special attention and care when approached. Knowing about their behavior and habitats beforehand will help you spot them more easily in the wild. Additionally, respecting their space and never attempting to interact with them directly is essential, as this could be dangerous for both you and the animal. Finally, while they can mate in captivity, it is necessary to remember that hybridizing tigers should only be done with great caution as it could result in genetic abnormalities or endangerment of both species. With these few tips in mind, you can be sure to have an enjoyable experience viewing these majestic creatures!