Are There Tigers in Mexico? Let’s Find Out

Though Mexico seems like a place that can hose the big cats, there are no wild tigers. Tigers are native to Asian countries. However, tigers are seen in zoos and sanctuaries in Mexico.

Moreover, there are tigers kept as exotic pets. Many Mexican millionaires keep them as pets in their mansions.

Even though there are no tigers in Mexico, it influences the country’s national interest because the tiger is the symbol of the state of Guerrero.

Are there Tigers in Mexico

4 Wild Cats of Mexico

There are no tigers native to Mexico. However, native big cats are living in the wild there. These cats include:

  1. Jaguars
  2. Pumas
  3. Ocelots
  4. Margays

Among them, Margays and Ocelots are the most common ones.

Wild cats of mexico- ocelot and margay

Ocelots, Jaguars, and Pumas like to stay on the ground. They hunt on the ground for food. However, Margays are different and unique. They hunt in the trees for lizards, birds, and miniature monkeys.

Mexican wild cats- jaguar and puma

The Margay has a unique coat of fur with breathtaking spots on it. Due to this, they are falling prey to illegal fur smugglers. The cats are being endangered due to poaching and smuggling.

The conservation status of Jaguars is near threatened. However, the Ocelots and the Pumas are listed as “least concern” animals.

The Tiger Dancing Festival of Guerrero


The state of Guerrero has a considerable symbol. Their state symbol is a tiger, even though there are no tigers in Mexico. The funny thing is that the symbol actually represents the jaguars and ocelots of the country. Even though why is this so?

This is because the state of Guerrero was a part of the Aztec empire. During the Aztec rule, the highest-ranking soldier in the army used to wear the traditional jaguar skin battle suit. This was considered to be the most prestigious thing to do.

The Aztec god “Tepeyollotl” was depicted as a Jaguar. He was a powerful god of earthquakes and echoes. They used to believe that “Tepeyollotl” made rain happen and fertilized lands.

The renowned Mexican muralist Diego Rivera was inspired by this and implemented the idea when designing the Guerrero coat of arms in 1923.

A tiger dance festival takes place in the state of Guerrero before the beginning of the rainy season. It is called “Tigrada de Guerrreo”. This festival takes place in Chiapas, Guerrero, every year.

The women make costumes of jaguars for the men to wear. Then they parade together throughout the city for their god to give them fertile land and rain.

Rural Guerrero is still very underdeveloped. Most of the natives are dependent on agriculture there. Thus, fertile land is precious to them.


Are there tigers in Mexico? No, there are not. Tigers are not native to Mexico. However, sanctuaries, zoos, national parks, and many millionaire citizens own tigers as exotic animals.

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"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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