(Last Updated on : 15/10/2010)
Bengal Tiger is a subspecies of tiger, which is found in the Bengal region of India. The Royal Bengal Tiger has a colour of reddish-brown to rust brown with black stripes and a white underbelly. The head and body of a male tiger is six to nine meters in length. The tail of the tiger grows up to three feet. A female Bengal tiger grows to a length of five to six feet in length. Its tail is two to three feet in length.
The Royal Bengal Tiger lives in Indian grasslands, subtropical and tropical rainforests, scrub forests, wet and dry deciduous forests and mangroves. They are carnivorous in nature and their prey mainly consists of medium and large-sized animals, like wild boar, deer, gaurs, water buffalo, young Asian Elephants and rhino calves. They also hunt hares, monkeys, langurs and peacocks. At times, Bengal tigers may hunt other predators like leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes, crocodiles and dholes. In one meal a tiger can consume up o forty kilograms of meat and then go without food for many days.
The Bengal Tiger prefers to stay alone and forms groups only during the mating period. It is a nocturnal animal and prefers to hunt at night. They can climb trees and are good swimmers as well. The Royal Bengal Tiger usually mates during the winter or the spring season. The mating period stretches for twenty to thirty days and during this period one can hear loud and distinct calls. The cub stays with the mother till two years after which it goes to live on its own.
The White Tigers of India, which is often mistaken, as a separate species of tiger is actually an ordinary tiger with a different mutation.
The Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India.