Bengal Tigers Are Massive Cats
These animals are obviously large, but let us begin our list of Bengal tiger facts by noting that these cats are the largest members of the entire cat family.
They are famous for their overwhelming power, incredible strength, and, of course, their eye-catching striped appearance. Bengal tigers, particularly males, can grow to be nearly 11 feet long and weigh up to 660 pounds. Females typically weigh less, but these large cats almost always weigh at least 300 pounds.
Bengal Tigers Are Classified Into Several Subspecies
There were once eight different subspecies of tiger. Unfortunately, three have become extinct, and the entire tiger species is currently on the verge of extinction. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 tigers left in the wild.
The animals are frequently hunted for trophies, and their body parts are commonly used in Chinese medicine. While there are several protection programmes in place to protect the world's remaining tigers, including the Bengal tiger, habitat loss and poaching remain serious issues.
Humans Are Not Popular With Bengal Tigers
Many people are afraid of these large animals, but most Bengal tigers will go out of their way to avoid human contact. This is becoming more difficult as villages and towns encroach on tiger habitats, and attacks have occurred.
Such attacks are usually the result of a sick tiger that is unable to hunt as it normally would. The loss of their habitat may also be a factor if their usual prey has fled the area, leaving the tiger hungry and without a viable food source.
India is Home to the Majority of Wild Bengal Tigers
According to Bengal tiger facts, these large cats are typically found in India. Because of this, they are sometimes referred to as Indian tigers. The animal has evolved into an important part of Indian culture.
Bengal tigers are also found in Bangladesh (the Bengal tiger is the country's national animal), Bhutan, and Nepal. Tigers live in dense forests, jungles, and mangrove swamps. Tigers can live in a variety of habitats as long as there is prey, a consistent water source, and a landscape that allows the tiger to hunt successfully.
The Bengal Tiger Hunts at Night
One of the more interesting Bengal tiger facts is about their distinct hunting technique. Many people believe that because of the animal's speed, they chase and tackle their prey.
Instead, Bengal tigers find a place to hide, often near a water source and at night, and wait for their prey to come to them.
A Bengal tiger can take down prey twice its size, but it prefers prey that is about its own size or smaller, such as deer, wild boar, goats, and cattle.
Bengal Tiger Reproduction is Difficult
Because Bengal tigers are in danger of extinction, it is critical that they reproduce. A female Bengal tiger, however, is only fertile for 4 or 5 days out of the year, unlike most other mammals.
If conception occurs, the gestation period lasts approximately 103 days. Most litters have 2 to 4 cubs. For the first week, the cubs are blind and rely heavily on their mother until they are about 18 months old. They leave their mother when they are two years old.
The Bengal Tigers Purr... However, Not Like a House Cat
One of the more surprising Bengal tiger facts is that roaring does not always indicate aggression. Bengal tigers typically roar only when they are attempting to communicate with other tigers who are not in their immediate vicinity.
When a Bengal tiger attacks prey or fights another tiger for territory, it will hiss or growl. The Bengal tiger does make a purring sound, but it is often so loud and rough that it is mistaken for a growl.
Bengal Tigers Are Excellent Swimmers
If you try to bathe a house cat, neither you nor the cat will likely enjoy the experience! Bengal tigers, on the other hand, adore water and are excellent swimmers. They can swim for nearly 4 miles at a time. A Bengal tiger may jump into the water to cool off, or it may pursue its prey into the water.
A Bengal tiger was killed by a crocodile while swimming across a river in 2011. While tigers frequently attack crocodiles, this was the first recorded incident in which a crocodile emerged victorious.
The Stripes of a Bengal Tiger Are Distinctive
Bengal tigers facts show that no two tigers are alike in terms of appearance. Just as all humans have unique fingerprints, each Bengal tiger's stripes are unique to that animal, and no two tigers will ever be the same.
Though most people envision an orange tiger with black stripes, Bengal tigers can also have a yellowish tint with dark brown stripes. It may surprise you to learn that even if a tiger lost all of its fur, the same stripe pattern would be visible on its skin.
Bengal Tigers Are Extremely Fast Runners... But Only for a Limited Time
Bengal tigers can run at speeds of up to 40 mph for short distances. This is why they rely on their distinct hunting technique, which allows them to spend more time resting rather than chasing down their prey.
Their paws, like a house cat's, have a lot of surface area and spongy pads that allow them to push off quickly while running. Bengal tigers are also excellent jumpers, reaching heights of up to 13 feet in the air!
Bengal Tigers Need Their Teeth to Survive
Bengal tigers are descended from the well-known Sabre-tooth cat, which is easily identified by its elongated canine teeth. Bengal tigers lack the length of their ancestor's teeth, but they rely on their long and sharp teeth to catch prey.
They would be unable to hunt and would most likely die from starvation if they lost these teeth due to old age or injury. A human can go for more than a month without food, but a Bengal tiger can only go for a couple of weeks.
Bengal Tigers Have Built-in First Aid Kits
If you happen to see a Bengal tiger, you might notice it licking its fur. You might think they're just cleaning themselves, but one of the more surprising Bengal tiger facts is that it's a natural defence mechanism against infection.
The saliva of a Bengal tiger contains natural antiseptic elements that can keep wounds from becoming infected. These elements also promote quicker healing. This is significant because Bengal tigers can sustain injuries while defending their territories or hunting.
Male Bengal Tigers Have Great Manners
Bengal tigers often hunt alone because they are solitary animals, but when cubs are present, the eating process changes. Before consuming anything, a male Bengal tiger will let his cubs and their mother eat from his prey.
This is in contrast to their close relative, the lion, where males always eat first, despite the fact that females do all of the hunting. A Bengal tiger can consume up to 50 pounds of meat in one night!
White Tigers Are Mutated Bengal Tigers
Many people believe that white tigers are a distinct subspecies, but you might be surprised to learn that white tigers are actually Bengal tigers. Their distinctive colouring is caused by a gene mutation found in only one out of every 10,000 tigers.
This means that a white tiger cub can be born to two orange Bengal tigers. White tigers haven't been seen in the wild since the 1950s, so it's possible that these tigers are now only found in private facilities. It is illegal to breed tigers in order to produce more white tigers.
Bengal Tigers Are a Popular Circus Animal
Bengal tigers were among the first animals to be used in popular circus acts. They have been trained to obey their trainer's commands and jump through hoops, climb ladders, or perform other acts to entertain a crowd.
However, as more is learned about how the animals are treated, these acts have come under fire in recent years. They travel in small cages and often spend the majority of their time chained. Whips and electric shocks are sometimes used to train the tigers. To keep Bengal tigers, a circus must now obtain official permits.
Even Trained Bengal Tigers Are Dangerous
Bengal tiger facts reveal an unfortunate story involving an American trainer that occurred in February of 2013. A Bengal tiger mauled the trainer in front of the circus audience during a circus performance in Mexico.
A few days later, the trainer died from blood loss and other injuries. As a result of the incident, the animal was also killed. This was not the first time a circus animal had attacked their trainer, and it had led to more circuses refraining from working with dangerous animals.
Bengal Tigers Urgently Need Your Help
As stated in several previous Bengal tiger facts, all tiger subspecies are endangered. Some scientists believe the Bengal tiger will become extinct within the next ten years. The World Wildlife Foundation is one of several organisations dedicated to the conservation of the Bengal tiger.
You can symbolically adopt a tiger by donating funds to help protect the animals, or you can make a monetary donation to help save these tigers from extinction.