The Bengal Tiger

The Bengal tiger is a carnivorous, mammal primarily from India. It lives in habitats such as the coniferous Himalayan Forest, the mangroves of the Sunderbans, the hills of the Indian Peninsula, or the forests of Rajasthan and Northern India. At one time Bengal tigers were scattered throughout Asia. Now they are generally found in India and some regions of Bangledesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar. There is approximately 4,000 alive in the wild now, and about 300 are in captivity in zoos around the world.

Bengal tiger’s are one of the largest and most feared cats in the cat family. An adult tiger can weigh any where from 350 to 550 pounds. The adult males weigh an average of 480 pounds, while the females weigh about 300. Their body lengths are between 6 and 9 feet long! A Bengal tiger hunts primarily deer, wild pigs, water buffalo, birds and other small mammals. When driven from hunger a this tiger will eat almost anything. Crocodiles, lizards, fish, and even humans are eaten by a frustrated Bengal tiger. They eat meat and only meat. Their style of attack is differant from the cheetah’s and the lion’s; who hunt in open habitats. Although it is a heavier predator than that of the lion and cheetah, it averages about 50 deer a year. Bengal tigers need a wide forest-like areas to hunt their prey. They are known to hunt alone, but have been found to hunt in packs. These tigers are semi-nocturnal, because they sometimes hunt at night. They use flying tactics and force their victims by attacking the throat and spine. Tigers aren’t successful hunters, they succeed about once out of every ten attempts.

A Bengal tiger is known for its elegant coat and its eyes that seem to stare at you as if you were its prey. Their coat has colors of a reddish tan, shading to white underneath. But the real elegance of its coat is the black stripes which run uneven down its body. Its fur is thick and short. Its facial features consist of long thick whiskers, beady eyes,long sharp pointy teeth, and pointed ears. Its whiskers are used for sensing its prey. These luxurious beady eyes have great vision and are extremely needed for hunting. Its hearing varies with the tiger, the more well developed the ear, the better its hearing will be. Its teeth and jaw are essential for hunting because they are needed to attack the neck of their prey to either snap its neck or to let it bleed to death.

Bengal tigers are special because they stand out against other mammals. They have certain characteristics that not many other cats have. They are excellent swimmers, and they take advantage of man-made roads and trails. As cubs their mothers can tell them apart by the white ear spots and even the cub uses this characteristic to find its mother in dim forests. Some studies have even shown that females permit their daughters to take over their home ranges.

Humans have turned against the Bengal tigers and as a result they are now endangered of being extinct. About one tiger is killed every day for sport, its coat, and for some sorts of medical remedies. This tiger has had superstition around if for centuries and its legends are getting them killed. Some superstitions include; necklaces made of its claws are said to ward away evil spirits from children, whiskers are used for deadly poisons, aphrodisiacs, or an aid at childbirth. Pelts are in demand for rugs, fur coats, and wall fixtures. The poacher’s main demand is for the bones and other parts for medicines. Poachers are killing these tigers everyday and do not even care they might some day become extinct because of what they are doing.

Bengal tigers aren’t just becoming extinct because of poachers, their environments are being destroyed. Their habitats are being destroyed everyday and the tigers are dieing because of it. By moving a tiger into an area where its not used to living it can destroy the whole eco-system in that area leaving many dead animals other than the Bengal tiger.

Certain zoos and programs have been set up to save these tigers but these efforts and not working successfully. Many