International Tiger Day is observed on July 29 every year to raise awareness about this endangered big cat species. As growing civilization rages through time, the greenery decreases, this creates disharmony in the symphony between human and nature, leading to severe consequences.
Tigers have long been a symbolical figure of beauty, power and fierceness across various cultures in India. However, it is also one of the most hunted species due to its fame. What earlier used to roam wild and free in the forests have now been reduced to the spaces of zoos and sanctuaries.
Hence, to remind us of what we have lost International Tigers Day was created on July 29, 2010 when the 13 tiger range countries came together to create Tx2 – the global goal to double the number of wild tigers by the year 2022.
India is estimated to be the home to more than half the world’s population of tigers. In the 2018 ‘All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018’ India has achieved its 2022 target of tiger population in the country and has 2,967 tigers.
India accounts for the largest population of Bengal Tigers. Here are some facts you ought to know about this majestic beast of prey:
Only known tigers to thrive in mangrove habitat
A population of the subspecies Panthera tigris tigris, Bengal Tigers in India are mainly found in subtropical and temperate upland forests and can be seen living in the Sundarbans mangrove regions of Bangladesh. They are great swimmers and known to swim between islands. Bengal Tigers are the only tigers known to thrive in a mangrove habitat. This makes them the ultimate survivor.
Our very own Bengal tigers rival the Siberian tigers in terms of size and weight. These big cats to walk on earth can range from 140-220 kg and to 7.5-10ft in length. The largest Bengal tiger on record reportedly weighed 569 pounds (258 kg) and stretched about 10 feet (3 meters) long.
Bengal Tigers have the longest canine compared to any living cat relative measuring approximately 4 inches. With retractable claws that are designed perfectly for climbing.
Bengal Tigers have numerous species of tiger and are mostly found in India. Scientists believe Bengal tigers arrived in India between 12,000 to 15,000 years ago.
Bengal Tigers are solitary creatures and like all tigers are carnivorous. Their diet can range from small animals to cattle and to big animals such as water buffaloes. They are known to even coordinate attacks on elephants and rhinoceros.
These felines attack from behind and do not shy away from attacking people in their nearby territories. Human residents of jungle villages that share space with large cats wear face masks on the back of their heads to confuse this predator.
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