Bengal Tiger

Bengal tiger wonderful beauty of it live in India now only 320 animals is endangered due to excessive hunting

                  Solitary cats, Bengal Tigers are territorial animals. They hunt at dusk and dawn and regularly mark their territory by scent to keep out other tigers from their hunting and breeding grounds. In some national parks where they are protected, tigers have been recorded to be active in daytime as well. Generally tigers prefer to stay in shade during daylight hours, particularly in the scorching summers of South Asia. Territories are smaller than those of Siberian Tigers owing to shrinking habitat of the tigers in India. Males roam over an area of twenty square miles and females hunt in a slightly smaller range of seventeen square miles. Often the territory of a single male overlaps those of several females, with whom he frequently mates. Tigers usually have more than one den in their range for them to choose as their haunt for a particular period of time

Bengal Tigers are at the top of their ecosystem and play an active role in maintaining the delicate balance of India's threatened natural fauna and flora. They prey upon a variety of animals including wild boar, sambar, barasingha, nilgai, gaur and water buffalo though the spotted dear, also known as chital, forms the bulk of their diet. At times smaller animals including hares, peacocks, langurs and monkeys are also consumed. Tigers are not above scavenging and often eat putrefied carcasses. Extremely strong, Bengal Tigers are known to attack and kill the largest prey animals in India including the Asiatic Elephant and Rhinoceros. They are estimated to have the strength of twelve adult men and can carry a fully grown cow over a ten foot fence. Aggressive animals, these great cats often kill adult crocodiles over conflict. In reality, nothing is safe from a wild tiger in the jungles of India if it makes up its mind to hunt it.

The most untamed of India's tigers reside in the largest natural delta on earth - the Sunderban forest of Bengal where the sacred river Ganges opens into the Bay of Bengal. An estimated near three hundred and five hundred tigers reside on India and Bangladesh's side of this vast mangrove wetland. Landlocked through ever-changing tides from the hunting maharajahs and colonial British of the past centuries, these wild tigers have never learned to respect man. These tigers are expert swimmers and amongst the most notorious big cats when it comes to man-eating. Their victims are ever so often the honey collectors and fishermen of Sunderban (literally meaning beautiful forest). Even though Core Areas and Buffer Zones have been designated to separate the predator from man, the extremely poor villagers go deep into tiger territory to search for honey and fish. The result is a number of deaths yearly that the locals have learnt to live with as the continual cycle of life and death in that part of the world. Still the conflict fares badly for the tiger which runs the risk of being poisoned and killed as in many other parts of the subcontinent where it is being victimized, by villagers for revenge, and poachers for profit. Despite its fearsome reputation the tiger is believed to be a large hearted gentleman that generally avoids human by most experts including the famed hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett who understood more about the big cat more than half a century ago than most do today. Most human kills by tigers according to him were the result of surprise, provocation, old age, injury, loss of prey or coincidence. Once tigers learn that humans are relatively easy and defenseless prey, some take to man-eating.

Recorded in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and parts of Tibet, the Bengal Tiger is essentially the pride of India and Bangladesh where it is given the status of national animal. Highest numbers are known to exist in scattered reserves in India where its numbers have shrunk from tens of thousands nearly a century ago to less than fifteen hundred today. Tigers survive in a variety of tropical habitats including marshlands, brush and grasslands.

Mating season for Bengal Tigers is between winter and spring. Females are receptive for three days to a week. Pregnancy lasts for around three months after which three cubs are born on average. The young are particularly vulnerable to adult male tigers in the vicinity who will frequently kill the cubs they haven't fathered to bring the female into estrus and establish the perpetuity of their own genetic line. At eleven months of age, the cubs are able to hunt for themselves. They stay with their mother for up to two to three years of age after which they move off to fend for themselves and take up a range of their own. Lifespan in the wild is fifteen years, and in captivity seventeen years on average.


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