The Bengal tiger is found primarily in India with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Burma. It is the most numerous of all tiger sub-species with around 1,850 left in the wild. The creation of tiger reserves in the 1970s helped to stabilise numbers but poaching in recent years inside the reserves has once again put the Bengal tiger at risk.
The Bengal Tiger is the second largest of all living tiger subspecies. The male tigers can weigh from 450-550 lbs and the females can get up to 310 lbs. they have orange coats, a fair (whitish) medial and ventral area and stripes that can vary in color from brown to black.
Bengal Tigers are solitary animals, except for females with cubs. Bengal Tigers spend most of their time alone hunting in their territory. Male Bengal Tigers will occupy territories upto 20 square miles in size and the females will occupy an area upto 17 square miles.
Tigers mainly rely on their sense of sight and hearing rather than on smell when hunting prey. They cautiously stalk their prey from the rear in attempt to get as close as possible to their unsuspecting prey. Then they attempt to take down their prey with a powerful bite to the neck and/ or throat.
Tigers eat a variety of prey ranging in size from termites to elephant calves. However, an integral component of their diet are large-bodied prey weighing about 20 kg (45 lb) or larger such as moose, deer species, pigs, cows, horses, buffalos and goats. Occasionally they may consume tapirs, elephant and rhinoceros calves, bear species, leopards and Asiatic wild dogs.
The Bengal tiger is included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Poachers still kill a lot of Bengal tigers each year for their pelts and other parts of the animal’s body. In many Asian countries the Bengal tiger is believed to possess healing properties; if you consume parts of a tiger you can benefit from the tigers’ strength.
A tiger’s front paws are large and strong to bring down prey. The front paws of a tiger have five toes each. The claws can be pulled inside while the tiger walks, which helps keep the claws sharp.
Tigers are patient hunters and can move slowly and quietly, stalking their prey for 20 or 30 minutes. A tiger’s large canine teeth and powerful jaws are used to grab a prey animal by the neck and suffocate it. Tigers use their sandpaper-rough tongues to scrape the last bits of meat from the bones of a meal.
You have to travel to Asia to find Bengal tigers. Most Bengal tigers live in parts of India. A few live in other countries nearby.
Unlike most cats, Bengal tigers like water and are strong swimmers. Sometimes they hunt for fish and frogs in the water.