Bengal Tiger – National Animal of India
Till 1973, Lion was the national animal of India. In April 1973, Project Tiger was started to save the tigers in India. As a consequence, in 1973, the Bengal Tiger was made the national animal of India.
The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is the most numerous tiger subspecies. Its populations have been estimated at 1,706–1,909 in India, 440 in Bangladesh, 163–253 in Nepal and 67–81 in Bhutan. Since 2010, it has been classified as endangered by the IUCN. The total population is estimated at fewer than 2,500 individuals with a decreasing trend, and none of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal tiger’s range is large enough to support an effective population size of 250 adult individuals.
Tiger was chosen as the National animal of India due to its grace, strength, agility and enormous power ,it was an obvious choice for the National Animal category. Since time immemorial, the tiger has been considered as a Royal Animal. Often, The Tiger as the National Animal of India symbolizes the power, strength, elegance, alertness, intelligence and endurance of the nation.
Bengal is traditionally fixed as the typical locality for the binomen Panthera tigris.
The Bengal tiger’s coat is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black; the belly and the interior parts of the limbs are white, and the tail is orange with black rings.
Male Bengal tigers have an average total length of 270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in) including the tail, while females measure 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) on average.The tail is typically 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in) long, and on average, tigers are 90 to 110 cm (35 to 43 in) in height at the shoulders.The weight of males ranges from 180 to 250 kg (400 to 550 lb), while that of the females ranges from 100 to 160 kg (220 to 350 lb). The smallest recorded weights for Bengal tigers are from the Bangladesh Sundarbans, where adult females are 75–80 kg (165–176 lb). Bengal tigers have exceptionally stout teeth, and the canines are the longest among all living felids; measuring from 7.5 to 10 cm (3.0 to 3.9 in) in length.
The white tiger is a recessive mutant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in Assam, Bengal, Bihar and especially from the former State of Rewa. However, it is not to be mistaken as an occurrence of albinism. In fact, there is only one fully authenticated case of a true albino tiger, and none of black tigers, with the possible exception of one dead specimen examined in Chittagong in 1846.