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Bengal Tiger Factfile
English Name : Tiger
Latin Name : Panthera tigris (Linnaeus)
Local Names : Hindi (Bagh, Sher), Marathi (Wagh), Tamil and Telugu (Puli), Malayalam (Kaduwa) and Kannada (Hoolee).

Bengal Tiger, a magnificent animal with a short coat is found mainly in Southern Asia. A large population of Bengal Tiger in found in countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan. A bright coloured, well striped animal, Bengal Tiger lives in a variety of habitats, including rain forests and dense grasslands. Mostly the mighty beast remain alone, but you may also spot them in groups of 3 or 4. Life expectancy of Bengal Tiger is approximately 20 years.

Physically, the animal extends to a length of 10 feet and weighs between 400 and 575 pounds. The length of the tail is about 3 feet. The fur is usually orange-brown in colour with black stripes. But, the fur on the belly region of the animal is white with black stripes. The teeth are very long and sharp and the jaws extremely powerful.

A carnivorous animal, Bengal tiger lives on animals like deer, pigs, antelopes, cattle and buffalo. Generally, Bengal tigers kill their prey with a bite on the neck. The tiger cubs grow fully by the time they are 16 months old and can feed themselves without any assistance. .
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It is very sad to note that this wonderful animal has been hunted to such an extent that its population has dwindled significantly and is now found mostly in protected wildlife sanctuaries.

India boasts of a sizeable population of Bengal tigers. The main wildlife sanctuaries of the country where the animal is found are mentioned below.

Sunderban Tiger Reserve : Situated 113 kms from Kolkata, Sunderban Tiger Reserve is known all over the world as biggest forests and delta. Spreading over an area of 1310.10 sq.kms, Sunderban Tiger Reserve consists of densely forested islands and saline water channels. Renowned for Bengal Tiger, Sunderban Tiger Reserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Besides Tigers, here at Sunderban Tiger Reserve you can spot several other wild animals. Boating is the most exciting way to spot the wild animals in Sunderban Tiger Reserve. Always keep in mind that boating is permitted only inside the tiger reserve. If you want to enjoy boat ride across estuarine delta area you have to take permit from the office of the Field Director, Sunderbans.

Corbett National Park : Situated in the forested foothills of the Uttaranchal Himalayas, Corbett National Park is famous for its Tigers and herds of wild elephants. Sprawling over an area of 52o sq. kms, the park consists of flat valleys, hilly ridges and rolling grasslands. Flora of Corbett National Park mainly consists of Sal, Bamboo and 110 other varieties of trees. The magnificent Ramganga river flows through the park, where you can spot a variety of animal species either drinking water or bathing.

Corbett national park was established way back in 1936. At that time, it was known as Hailey National Park. India's first national park to come under the ambitious Project Tiger, Corbett is a haven for the tiger and its prey which includes deer, wild boar and some lesser-known animals. Jeep Safari is the best option of exploring the Corbett National Park. Elephant rides are also very popular inside the park.

Kanha National Park : Located in Mandia district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is another safe and popular habitat of the Bengal tiger. In fact, the presence of large number of tigers in Kanha and nearby Bandhavgarh National Park earns Madhya Pradesh the title of Tiger state. Kanha covers an area of 2000 sq. kms and the beautiful Surpan river quenches the thirst of Kanha's animals. The flora of Kanha mainly consists of Sal trees and many varieties of bamboo. For observing the animals at Kanha National Park, the Elephant Safari is the best option.

The animals at Kanha are best observed from the elephant back.

Bandhavgarh National Park : Located close to Kanha, Bandhavgarh National Park is the place where white tigers of Rewa were first discovered. Although there are no more white tigers in the park, but the yellow striped Bengal tiger are found in abundance. Spread over an area of 437 sq kms, Bandhavgarh houses a variety of floral species. Declared a national park in the year 1968, Bandhavgarh provides you maximum chances of spotting the Bengal tigers. Elephant Safaris or Jeep Safaris are the best way to spot tigers in Bandhavgarh National Park.

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