Bengal Tiger

The Bengal Tiger is the most common of the surviving races of tiger, and in terms of size it rivals even the Siberian tiger.

ANIMAL FACTS

The Bengal Tigers live solitary lives, hunting on their own. They are opportunistic hunters, favouring large quarry, and have been known to attack people on occasion. These man-eaters are often injured or infirm, and can develop a taste for human flesh. Tigers prefer to hunt by night, seizing their prey around the neck, and usually biting through the spinal cord to effect the kill. They can swim very well – often being found near water – and are also able to climb easily.

VITAL STATISTICS

Distribution: This southern Asian race is found mainly in areas of India and Bangladesh, as well as parts of Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar (Burma) and Tibet.

Weight: Females 100 – 180 kg (220 – 397 lb); males 167 – 220 kg (368 – 485 lb).

Length: 275 – 310 cm (108 – 122 in), including tail; up to 119 cm (47 in) tall.

Maturity: 3 years.

Gestation Period: 90 – 105 days.

Breeding: Average 3 – 4, but can be up to 6; weaning at around 90 days.

Food: Carnivorous, preferring larger prey.

Lifespan: Probably 10 – 12 years, but can be up to 23.

Colouration

The fur is a rich shade of orange-brown, with variable black striped patterning.

Whiskers

These provide sensory input at close quarters.

Tail

The tail helps the tiger maintain its balance when jumping, and is almost lm (39 in) long.

Whiskers

These provide sensory input at close quarters.

Teeth

Sharp canine teeth at the corners of the mouth are slid between the vertebral bones, to sever the spinal cord of prey.

A tiger will ambush and then jump on its prey, bringing it down to the ground.

WHITE TIGER

The rare mutant white Bengal tiger has pale stripes and bluish eyes but as in the normal Bengal Tigers, the facial patterning is still highly individual.

Gallery of Bengal Tiger