Very few shark species are as popular as the tiger shark, and that explains why people are so eager to know whether they can be kept as pets. But do the individuals belonging to this species - who are notorious as blood thirsty predators, really make good pets? With due respect to the fact that the term blood thirsty is an over-hyped term, the answer would be no. There do exist some species of sharks - such as the nurse shark, leopard shark, horn shark, etc., which make ideal pets, but tiger sharks do not feature in this list, and the rule implies for the young ones of this species as well.
Juvenile Tiger Sharks
Aggressive behavior - especially when it comes to hunting, is a characteristic behavioral instinct in tiger shark species - something which they develop within a few days of their birth. This can be attributed to the fact that baby tiger sharks are left to fend for themselves right from the time they are born. With such behavioral instincts, keeping them as pets doesn't sound to be a good idea at all. You will become well-versed with more of such tiger sharks facts as you move on with this write-up.
Mating and Birth
Mating in tiger shark species takes place somewhere between March and May, following which young ones take birth somewhere between April and June the next year. The tiger shark is the only species in the family of requiem sharks which is ovoviviparous in nature - i.e. organism which produces living young from eggs that hatch within the body. The litter consists of 10-80 pups on an average. The young ones in this species develop inside their mother's body for as long as 16 months before they take birth. As in case of various other species of sharks, the young ones of tiger shark are known as pups.
Size and Appearance
At the time of its birth, a tiger shark is 20-30 inches in length. That is in stark contrast to an adult tiger shark which measures 10-14 ft and weighs a whopping 849-1,400 lb. The young ones of this species are typically characterized by spots across the length of their body, instead of stripes which are seen in adults. As they grow, these spots are transformed into stripes which happen to be the characteristic attribute of the tiger sharks from which they derive their common name. While their natural habitat happens to be the deep waters of open ocean, the young ones prefer to stay in shallow water. This is where their spots turn out to be amazing camouflage tools, and help them stay out of the sight of their predators.
Diet and Behavior
As we mentioned earlier, the young ones are left to fend for themselves right from the time they are born as a result of which they start hunting for their own food right from the word go. Their size has a crucial role to play when it comes to feeding habits. They eat a range of small marine organisms including bony fish species, squids, etc. when they are born. As they continue to grow and attain a considerable size, they begin feeding on young ones of sea turtles, baby seals, etc. As they grow, they graduate to larger prey. Even though they attain a significant length within a year of their birth, they only reach sexual maturity at the age of five and that's when the reproduction cycle in tiger sharks starts all over again with the process of mating.
Even though most of the tiger shark attacks on humans in the wild are curiosity driven - and not predatory in nature, the aggressive nature of this species is one of the numerous factors for which you should give up on the idea of keeping it as a pet. While that's the most important reason, other reasons such as the size of this species, their rapid growth, etc. are good enough for you to refrain from keeping them as pets.