The Bengal Tiger, or Panthera Tigris, is one of the most majestic creations of Mother Nature. The Royal Bengal Tiger is a sub-species of the tiger family and inhabits regions in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and Southern Tibet. For its grace, beauty and strength, India has picked this big cat as its National Animal. Here we put together some interesting facts about the tiger.
The sheer size of this big cat can hold you in awe. A full sized Bengal Tiger can attain nine feet in length. The female tigress, however, is smaller in comparison to the male and mostly weighs around 310 pounds. Tigresses rarely grow beyond 8 feet in length.
The powerful structure of a Bengal Tiger enables them to drag a prey for almost a mile, even though the prey may be heavier than his own weight.
A white Bengal Tiger with black stripes is because of gene mutation and not because they are albino.
Canines in Bengal Tigers can grow to four inches and are larger than that of a lion. These powerful creatures also have retractable claws which allow them to climb. Their vision is superior to many animals and they have excellent hearing ability.
They prefer the low lands and are often seen in grasslands, swamps and mangroves. These solitary animals usually come together during the mating season. Sometimes, they can be spotted living in groups of three to four tigers.
They may appear to be lazy animals, sleeping and resting by day, but when in action, tigers are known to traverse large distances, protecting and marking a territory that can extend to as much as 200 square miles sometimes.
These bulky animals are not suited to climbing trees, but in pursuit of a prey, they can clim up a tree, though they appear clumsy while doing so.
The Bengal mangrove ecosystem is a rich habitat for these tigers and they have adapted by being ardent swimmers. A prey cannot escape their powerful jaws even in the waters.
But when the need arises, they can prey on monkeys, peacocks, crocodiles, wolves, leopards and even young elephants. Basically anything that moves around can be food, when a tiger is hungry.
One forceful attack and the prey has nowhere to run, for the tigers has such power that it can snap the spinal cord in one jerk or a grip of the throat simply draws the life out of any animal held there.
This big cat can eat 30 to 40 kg of meat in one meal and then feel no need to hunt for another three weeks.
Female Bengal Tigers mature at three years of age. The gestation period lasts for about three months. The Bengal Tiger can live for almost 25 years in captivity and a little less in the wild.
It’s hard to believe that the large cat at birth is a helpless and small animal. The male cubs stay with their mothers till they leave at about two years of age. The female cubs on growing up choose to stay in the territory of the mother.
These majestic animals are struggling to survive in wild because of reduced habitat and the looming threat from poachers. Their population is believed to have dwindled down to just about 1,300.
Every part of these tigers, right from their claws to their eyes are sold for a fortune in this market.
A Bengal Tiger roar can be heard two miles away.
However, this census methodology has been contested.
They are known to kill humans for food when prey becomes scarce or when they become old and weak.