On average, the lifespan of tigers living in zoos is 22 years while the lifespan of tigers in the wild is 17 years. What are two reasons why tigers live longer in the zoo than in the wild?

1 Answer
Jun 29, 2017


  1. Less competition for food.
  2. Access to healthcare and medicine.


There are many different reasons why animals in general survive longer in zoos than in the wild.

Some of these reasons are:

  1. In the wild, animals (in this case, tigers) have to compete with other predators of the same and different species for their food' they also have to handle the possibility of not always getting their prey. In the zoo, their food is provided regularly.

  2. In the wild, animals are exposed to disease, privation, and injuries that take a toll on their general health and longevity. In the zoo, zoological and veterinary care is provided and the chances of injuries caused by fighting or hunting are reduced.

  3. With deforestation and encroachment, the wilds provide less sustainable environments for predators than zoos.

  4. The principle of "survival of the fittest" in the wild which weeds out those animals who are weaker or runts brings down the average life-span. With provision of food and healthcare in zoos, even weaker animals survive longer, pushing up the average life-span.