The Bengal Tiger is the National Animal of Bangladesh
The Bengal Tiger
The Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris tigris, is sometime called the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Tiger is the national animal of India. Although I and many people tend to think of it as an Indian animal, it is also found in Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The Bengal Tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh.
The Siberian subspecies is traditionally considered to be the biggest subspecies, but some studies suggest that the Bengal one is as big or even slightly bigger.
Apart from the usual T colour, some Bengal Tigers have a lot more white. These are referred to as White Tigers. These are often on display in zoos and parks. This characteristic is being bred for in some of these parks.
There have been many reports of black oves. In some cases these were black Leopards. However, there seems little doubt that partially black tigers do exist. The existence of totally black Tigers is much more doubtful.
The UICN Red List for 2008 lists the status of this animal as endangered, with probably less than 2500 living in the wild. This is actually more than the likely number of any of the other subspecies.
The ancestors of the Bengal Tiger arrived in its present range about 12,000 years ago. The stem subspecies was probably either the South China or the indochinese subspecies.
They are carnivores, like cats in general. They will kill and eat almost any animal they can catch and kill. This means most of the animals of India and the other places it lives.
Indian Elephants are rather large for even this huge cat to tackle, but they do eat some young ones.
Catching an Elephant
This general description is based on Lieutenant Colonel Williams's Book Elephant Bill. He obviously had not actually witnessed an attack like this, but had put together the scenario from his knowledge of Elephants and Tigers, including treating Elephants after an attack.
When the Pregnant Elephant is close to giving birth, she goes into the jungle with another female Elephant, which is sometimes referred to as an Auntie.
If a Tiger wants to eat the baby, he will charge the mother and try to drive her off. The Auntie now has to fight off the predator by herself, knowing that the mother will be back very soon. It is probable that the Auntie usually succeeds and the Tiger will go off to find smaller prey.
Another animal generally too big for them to tackle is the Rhinoceros. Tigers did occasionally eat baby Rhinos. Unfortunately, Rhinos are practically extinct in Asia.
In most of its range, the Bengal Tiger rarely eats Humans, but in one area, the Sundarbans, this habit is a serious problem.
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