Bengal Tigers are the second-largest cat species, with males growing up to 10 feet and weighing between 397 and 569 pounds. Their radiant yellow to light orange coat is adorned with unique stripes, and they even have rare white and golden variants.
Mating all year round, Bengal Tigers give birth to up to six cubs after a 3.5-month gestation period. In the wild, they live up to 15 years, but in captivity, their lifespan can extend to 25 years.
Solitary creatures, Bengal Tigers are territorial apex predators. They hunt larger mammals and can eat 60 pounds in one night. Their hunting prowess and adaptability are testaments to their resilience.
Versatile in habitat choice, Bengal Tigers reside in tropical, subtropical, and temperate forests in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. They are even found in mangroves and have been spotted at 13,800 feet in Bhutan.
The 'Royal' title was given by the British, impressed by the tiger's hunting expertise and fearless nature. The tiger is also a symbol of Goddess Durga, representing strength.
Hunting during the British era and the Mughal rule led to a rapid decline in tiger population. Conservation efforts are ongoing, but challenges remain.
Project Tiger was started in 1973 by the Indian government for conservation. The latest census shows a 6.7% increase in the population, but the Bengal Tiger is still endangered.