CREATURE FEATURE: Bengal Tiger

The Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is a carnivorous mammal and the largest of the cat family.

The Bengal Tiger can grow to 1.5-1.8 metres (5-6 feet) tall with a tail of half a metre to one metre (2-3 feet) long.

Bengal Tigers live in the Bengal area of Bangladesh and eastern India.

They are an endangered species because the number of Bengal Tigers is decreasing. In 2014 the estimated population of Bengal tigers was about 3,000 with 2,226 in India, 440 in Bangladesh, 163-243 in Nepal, and 103 in Bhutan.

Bengal tiger

Bengal Tiger (male)

Bengal Tigers live alone and mark their large territories with their scent to keep other tigers away.

They are nocturnal because they hunt at night for buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals. Tigers camouflage themselves in the bushlands and will leap onto their prey.

Female Bengal Tigers have about 2-6 babies, called cubs. Cubs learn to hunt when they are 18 months old. The cubs stay with their mother for 2-3 years, then they separate to find their own territory.

Their average life span in the wild is 8-10 years.

An interesting fact is that all tigers have different patterns of stripes on their coats.

International Tiger Day is celebrated each year on 29 July.

Bengal tiger

Bengal Tiger (male)

Bengal tiger

Bengal Tiger (male)

Bengal Tiger distribution. Source: Whitesachem

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

 

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