Bengal Tiger Info
Tigers hunt large mammals, such as deer, antelope, wild cattle, and wild pigs. They may even attack young rhinoceroses and elephants. They also catch such small animals as peafowl, monkeys, and frogs. At times, tigers attack porcupines, but the porcupine's quills may stick in the tiger's face and body, causing painful wounds. In many parts of Asia, tigers prey on domestic cattle and water buffalo, especially where hunters have greatly reduced the amount of wildlife.The tiger usually hunts at night, wandering along animal trails and dry stream beds. A tiger depends chiefly on its sharp vision and keen hearing, but it may also use its sense of smell. After stalking closely or waiting in cover, the tiger rushes at its prey in several bounds. Using its sharp claws, the tiger grasps the victim by the rump or upper body and pulls it down. Its large canine teeth are well suited for holding prey and for killing it.Tigers are extremely swift for short distances. However, if a tiger fails to catch its prey quickly, it usually will give up because it soon tires. As long as a week may go by without a successful hunt. After a kill, the tiger drags the carcass (dead body) to thick cover. The tiger's neck, shoulders, and forelegs are very powerful. A tiger may drag the body of a 500-pound (230-kilogram) water buffalo for 1/4 mile (0.4 kilometer). The tiger stays near the carcass until it has eaten everything except the large bones and stomach. A tiger may eat at least 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of meat in a night. A tiger often takes a long drink of water and a nap after a meal.
The Bengal tiger adapts to the enviroment,as much at home in the cold forests of the Himalayas as it is in the wam, humid mangrove samps of the Sundabans region that straddles northeastern India and Bangladesh.An excellent swimmer,the tiger is also the most water-loving of the big cats,it can often be found near slow-flowing rivers and shady pools, where it can ambush pray or simply cool off during the heat of the day.
The tiger always occupies a home rang that is dense in vegetation.Lrgest territories are held by male tigers and may cover an area uto 40sq, miles.A large range allows the tiger to find plenty of food,while good cover helps it stalk its prey unseen.
The Bengal tiger usually breeds in the spring, when the female becomes fertile for three to seven days.After mating,the male and female remain together for a few days.The male then leaves the female and plays no further part in rearing the cubs.
About 15 weeks later, two to four cubs are born.Tiger cubs are suckled for up to six months, although the mother starts to bring them small prey from age of 6 weeks.Once weaned,the cubs join their mother hunting to learn the skills they will need to survive on their own.By the age of 18 months,the cubs are able to feed themselves.
Although reputed to be fiercely solitary,the Bengal tiger simply needs a lot of space to hunt and thefore is social at a distance.In fact, a male`s territory usually overlaps those of several females.The tiger visits most of its territory within the space of a few days and marks its boundaries be shredding the bark of trees with its claws.Then it sprays these *signspots* with strong-smelling urine.The urine not only reinforces the boundry marking, but also sends highly complex chemical messages to other tigers, including the owners`s sex.size,social tatus and (for females) breeding status.These messages are esstial to tiger society; they help tigers avoid competiton for food, as well as conflicts over territory.
India was home to some 40,000 tigers a century ago but habitat loss, poaching and population pressure reduced that to fewer than 2,000 by 1970. To reverse the decline, India established wildlife sanctuaries that now include more than 600 protected areas along with 50 tiger reserves.That conservation effort has seen India's tiger population grow slightly. But numbers remain fragile: a government-estimated 2,226 tigers in 2014 representing 70 percent of the world's total.
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