Bengal tigers are amazing creatures and need help as they are an endangered species. They are India and Bangladesh’s national animal and they are one of the largest cats in the world. On average they are larger than other tigers, but it is a Siberian that takes the record of largest tiger ever seen. The Royal Bangal tiger is only found wild now in a few places in Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Bhutan. There are conservation efforts happening and there has been some success but the rates of human encroachment, deforestation and poaching are still devastating their habitats.
Interesting Bengal Tiger facts
- Villages around areas where tigers are found wear masks on the back of their heads as tigers like to attack from behind but if they think they are being looked at they might look for another target.
- It is thought the royal Bengali tiger has been in India for as long as 12,000 to 15,000 years!
- The royal part of the name comes from the 19th century but is used less today.
- It is a member of the subspecies Panthera tigris tigris.
- When they are hunting larger prey like elephants and rhinos this usually solitary creature might coordinate their attacks.
- The word Panthera comes from the greek word panther and the Latin panthera both translate to ‘that which is hunted’.
- Most of these tigers have light orange or yellow coats with black or brown striping. Their stomachs are white as is the inside of their legs.
- A male royal Bangal tiger reaches between 2.7 and 3.05m long which includes the length of its tail. They can reach 0.92 to 1.07m tall and weigh between 180 to 258kg.
- Females are a little smaller but still impressive. Between 2.13 and 2.59m long, the same height as males but weighing less, between 99.8 to 158.76kg.
- As mentioned they are found in only a few places now and most of them live in sanctuaries. India, Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan and Nepal.
- Most of them enjoy habitats that might be one of, or a mix of, dense forest, rocky terrain, mangrove swamps, lush grassland and savannahs.
- The royal Bengali tiger runs very fast despite its size.
- It is not the descendent of the Saber-tooth tiger, in fact, it is descended from an animal called the miacidae, along with other cats, bears, dogs and surprisingly weasels!
- In the wild, it is a complete carnivore that hunts mid-sized animals like goats, badgers, deer, boar, rabbit, water buffalo and the occasional domestic cattle.
- When they hunt they will drag their prey to a safer place to eat it. They can eat an amazing 18kg in meat in one sitting and then they might go a few days without eating at all.
- In zoos they will eat things like kangaroo, chicken and horse and usually eat five times a week and then just chew on bones for the other two days of the week.