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Moo? These Tigers Sound More Like Cows Than Big Cats

What do tigers sound like when greeting one another? It's not anything like "meow," that's for sure.

Liz Acosta  |  May 23rd 2012

In yet another case of confused cat identity, let’s talk to some tigers, who seem to think they are bovine — and sometimes equine. Check out this video if you’ve ever wondered what Mittens would sound like if she were actually the tiger she fantasizes herself to be. It might be a little surprising.

Unlike their domesticated descendants, tigers emit more guttural, growling sounds, which sound a lot like cows bleating in a field.

Tigers also greet each other with something called “chuffing,” which reminds us of a snorting horse. At Big Cat Rescue in Florida, tigers chuff to greet their keepers and their keepers chuff right back, to help develop and establish bonds with the animals.

Founded in 1992, Big Cat Rescue comes to the aid of abandoned, retired, or abused exotic cats. Along with housing and caring for these beautiful animals, staffers tour schools and events, educating audiences on the dangers of trying to keep big cats as pets and how hunting and rapid environmental changes are threatening their populations in the wild.

The group’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Big Cat Rescue has attracted the attention of celebrities such as Bo Derek, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jane Goodall, making the big cats celebrities in their own right.

Photos via Big Cat Rescue Facebook page