Table of Contents
India’s national animal depicts the unique identity of India. The symbols are important to show the culture, heritage and Indianness. The Indians are proud of these national symbols as it boosts the sense of pride and patriotism in the blood of Indian people. The Indian symbols can capture the essence of Indianness. National symbols are inevitable to show the worth and value of a country. The national symbol can instil joy in belonging to a particular nation. Nation symbol evokes the feeling of unity, strength and intelligence. The national symbol of each country has been chosen carefully. The nation symbol gives the complete image of a country. The national symbol can demonstrate the ethnic culture of a country.
The symbol of a national animal expresses the essential facts about a country. The national animal can express the feeling of strength and power of a particular country. Every country is proud of the national animal of that particular country. Kids are taught about the national animal from a very young age itself. The national animal is the apt expression of the vitality of a nation. The national animal can help the people to identify how important the country is. The qualities of the national animal can be attributed to the nation itself.
Which is the National Animal of India?
The national animal of India is the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Royal Bengal Tiger has its meaning and significance. According to the Hindu Mythology and Vedic era, the tiger is seen as the symbol of power and glory. The image of the tiger is even worshipped as it is regarded as the animal-vehicle of the Goddess Durga. As per the survey, India is the homeland for almost 80% of tigers across the world. The image of the tiger is treated as an image of power. The tiger has a significance beyond measure because of which it is even featured in the Indian currency notes and stamps. The Royal Bengal Tiger is royal in all its angles.
Royal Bengal Tiger
The Royal Bengal tiger is the national animal of India. The scientific name of the Royal Bengal Tiger is Tigris. The royal Bengal tiger denotes grace, glory, strength and agility. It is a striped animal. It has a thick yellow fur coat with dark black stripes. The Royal Bengal Tiger is the most distinguished carnivores among the Indian Fauna variety. As it is known for its majestic, lethal and regal appearance, it is treated as a symbol of power and speed. The Royal tiger demonstrates an uncontrollable charming and mystic feature that creates awe among the people across the world. Indians are proud to utter the word Royal Bengal Tiger as it is royal in all its aspects of performance. These unique qualities distinguish the tiger from any other wild animals and thus been accepted as the royal symbol of India.
Significance of Royal Bengal Tiger
Known as the Lord of the Jungle, the tiger is known as the wealth of Indian Wildlife. The Royal Bengal Tiger has been chosen as the national animal in 1973. The real intention behind the selection of the tiger as the national animal is the protection of the tigers from extinction from the surface of the earth. To protect the tiger, the Project Tiger was introduced in 1973. Before the initiation of the Project Tiger, the lion was the national animal of India. The tiger is a striped animal that can be seen as a combination of pride and power. The Indian race, Royal Bengal Tiger can be found everywhere in India, except the northwestern region and in Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. The Project Tiger saved many tiger lives. Around 27 tiger reservoirs have been established in India which covers an area of 37,761 sq. km.
Scientific Classification of Royal Bengal Tiger
The Royal Bengal Tiger belongs to the following scientific classification.
|National Animal of India||Royal Bengal Tiger|
|Subspecies||Panthera tigris tigris|
Where is the National Animal of India Found?
Are you curious to know about the places where you can find the national animal of India? The national animal of India can be found in several places except for the northwestern region of India.
- Dry Scrubland and Grasslands of Ranthambore in Rajasthan
- Mangroves in Sundarbans
- Tropical and Subtropical rainforests of Corbett in Uttarakhand
- Wet and dry forests of Kanha in Madhya Pradesh
- Subtropical rainforests of Periyar reservoir in Kerala
Royal Bengal Tiger: Life span
The maximum life span of the wild specimen is 15 years and the Royal Bengal Tiger has an average lifespan of about 8- 10 years. Those tigers who reach the life span of 15 years are weak by age and they are unable to hunt large preys. Bengal tiger can live up to 20 years safely with full power and vitality.
What is Project Tiger?
The population of the tiger began to decrease rapidly by 1973. The project tiger was the best resort to save the population of the tiger from extinction. The project tiger was an attempt to preserve the majestic tiger from vanishing from the earth. The project also aimed at protecting and preserving the ecosystem. The areas of biological importance are regarded as the natural heritage and saved the natural ecosystem of the tigers all over India. As a part of saving the tiger and its natural environment, the Royal Bengal Tiger was chosen as the national animal in 1973. It was during the time of Prime Minister Indra Gandhi the initiation of the Project Tiger took place. The first director of Project Tiger was Kailash Sankhala. The Indian Government is governing around 50 tiger reserves at present. Since the initiation of Project Tiger, the number of tigers in India has started to rise. Compared to the year 2006 where the total number of tigers in the country was 1411, there was a rapid increase of 2967 tigers in the year 2018. The highest number of tigers are found in Madhya Pradesh (526), Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
History of Royal Bengal Tiger
The Royal Bengal Tiger belongs to the population is Panthera tigris tigris. The Royal Bengal Tiger is the subspecies that is raw to the Indian subcontinent. The Royal Bengal Tiger is disturbed by the poaching, loss, fragmentation and destruction of the ecosystem. In 2010, India’s estimated tiger population was about 1,706–1,909. By 2018, the tiger population increased by 2,603–3,346. Around 300–500 tigers can be seen in Bangladesh. Almost 220–274 tigers can be easily identified in Nepal and 103 tigers can be noticed in Bhutan. A total of about 12,000 to 16,500 years can be calculated at present as the presence of tiger in the Indian Sub-continent is calculated recently. The biggest tiger which ranged among the wild cats alive today is none other than the Bengal tiger. The Bengal Tiger is belonging to the category of the world’s charismatic megafauna. The royal Bengal tiger is not only the national animal of India but also of Bangladesh.
Physical Features of Royal Bengal Tiger
- The colour of the fur coat of the Bengal Tiger is yellow and light orange
- The stripes on its body are of the colour dark brown or black where the white tiger is considered as the mutant variety of tiger
- The total length of the male and female tigers are 270 to 310 cm
- The average height of the shoulders of male and female tigers are in the range of 90 to 110 cm
- The standard weight of the male tiger ranges from 175 to 260 kg and of the female tiger ranges from 100 to 160 kg
- The teeth of the tiger are classified as the stout teeth
- The canines of the tigers are of ranging between 7.5 to 10 cm
- The length of the tiger skull is 332 to 376 mm
Facts about the India’s National Animal
- Called as the Lord of the jungle
- Acts as an identity of our nation
- Belongs to the Panthera Tigris Species
- Declared as the national animal of India in April 1973
- Project Tiger saved the tiger population from extinction
- Since 2010, the IUCN declared tigers as endangered species
- Royal Bengal, Indo-Chinese, Sumatran, Amur or Siberian, South China, Caspian, Java, and Bali are the eight subspecies of tiger. Of which last three are already at the brink of extinction
- The mutant of the Bengal Tiger is called as White Tiger which can be seen in Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar
- The legs of the tigers are strong as that of the horses.
- A newborn cub remain blind for the first week of the birth of the cub
- Tigers hate to fight over preys
- Two male tigers will share the prey but wait for the female tiger and the infants to finish eating.
- The leaping distance of the tiger is more than six meters
- The tiger cab jumps up to 5 meters vertically
- The tiger’s paw is much powerful to break the spine and skull.
- The total number of stripes on the tiger’s body is above a hundred
- The stripes’ pattern is different and unique for each tiger.
- Tigers like to play for a long time in the water.
- Tigers can swim easily and they can catch fish effortlessly
- Tigers, unlike other cat animals, like playing in the water. They are excellent swimmers and fishers too. A tiger can swim for many kilometres and hunt for fish.
- The Bengal tigers living in the mangrove forest can only be seen in the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh
Ecology and behaviour of Bengal Tiger
- The social unit of the Bengal tiger is small as it includes the male, one female and their offspring’s.
- Adult tigers join together to share the large supply of food.
- The life of the tiger is essentially solitary
- The tigers love to hunt the prey individually.
- A male tiger keeps its habitat/ territory large
Major Tiger Reservoirs in India
- Corbett- Uttarakhand
- Kaziranga- Assam
- Ranthambore- Rajasthan
- Panna- Madhyapradesh
- Kanha-Madhya Pradesh
- Bandavgarh – Madhya Pradesh
- Meighat- Maharashtra
- Periyar- Kerala
- Bandipur- Karnataka
- Nagarjunassagar- Andre Pradesh
Tigers of Cat Family
- Domestic cat
- Savannah Cougar
- Wild cat
Why Tiger and not Lion?
Even though the lion is called the king of the jungle, the national symbol of India is not a lion but a tiger. Have you ever thought about the reason behind it? Let’s find out. Until 1972, the nation accepted the symbol of a lion as the national animal. As the population of the tiger began to deplete by the end of 1972, the nation has decided to choose the tiger as the national animal. There are many reasons for this selection. It was an attempt to save the tiger from extinction. The lion population has a limited range across India when compared to the tiger in India. It is happy to let you know that about half of the world’s tiger population is found in India. The tiger is a symbol that is deeply embedded in Indian culture and tradition.
Tigers are part of Indian Mythologies. So, the importance of the tiger is huge when compared to lions. Royal Bengal Tiger became the national animal of Indian in 1973. A project entitled the project tiger in 1973 paved the way for the selection of the tiger as the national animal. In the year 2018, the total number of tigers in India has increased by 2967. The highest number of tigers are found in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The total number of tigers found in Madhya Pradesh is about 526. The second state of India with the highest tiger population in Karnataka with 524 tigers in total.
Tiger and its Hunting Habit
The tiger belongs to the category of a carnivorous animal. Tiger prefers hunting chital, sambar, gaur, water buffalo, nilgai, serow, wild boar, and occasionally hog deer, Indian muntjac, porcupines, hares, peafowl, grey langur and takin. It can even hunt human beings for food. The Bengal tiger usually hunts Indian, Indian wolf, Indian jackal, fox, mugger crocodile, Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, and dhole. An interesting fact about the hunting habit of the tiger is that it hates hunting adult Indian elephant and Indian rhinoceros. Tiger approaches from behind or side and grasp the throat of the prey and kills it without mercy. They are fond of dragging the carcass to consume it without any external attack. They can consume 18–40 kilograms of meat at a stretch. They love to consume human beings and hence named man-eaters. Remember R. K Narayan’s Man-Eaters of Malgudi?
Major Threats to Tiger Lives
Given below is the list of threats that tigers are facing.
- Poaching or the illegal trade of skin and body parts of the tiger
- Human beings’ confrontation with tigers
- Loss of natural habitat
The government of India is at present highly interested in conserving the natural habitat of tigers to prevent the decrease in tiger population. Global and local campaigns are organized by various wildlife conservation authorities to save tiger lives. Project Tiger aimed at the preservation of tiger lives. Many of the tiger reservoirs are constructed as a part of the balancing of the ecosystem.