Out of the nine predominant subspecies of Tigers, only six different sub-species of tigers are left on our planet currently . The world has already lost three of the nine subspecies of this charismatic species, further restricting its world population genetically to only six subspecies or geographical variation. India is one of the thirteen tiger-range countries. In some of these countries, tiger populations are very low, and in others they are almost functionally extinct.
BENGAL TIGER (PANTHERA TIGRIS TIGRIS)
It is perhaps the best-known subspecies of all and some people know it as the “Royal Bengal Indian tiger” because it is the area where it lives. In fact, most Royal Bengal tigers live in India, but there are some populations in Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.
This subspecies has the characteristic orange coat with black stripes, although some individuals born with a white coat and blue eyes due to a genetic mutation; These are not considered a separate subspecies but only a genetic variety.
While they have two or three times more population than other subspecies, they are still at a very high risk of becoming extinct, so their current status classification is as endangered as the others.
While an adult male weights between 180-230 kg, adult females 135-185 kg. The total length of an adult male and adult female is 2.75-2.90 m. and 2.60 m. respectively. Each foreleg has five toes, and hind lege has four toes. An amazing predator, and adult giter has a very protective skeletal system and a strongly built, muscular body. The two strong forelimbs, reinforced additionally by the body weight and with retractile sharp and curved claws, help the hunter grab and hold its prey tightly.
The average life span of a tiger is around 12 years in the wild. In the captivity, however, with proper veterinary care and nutrition, they may survive upto 20 years. Tigers attain sexual maturity by around 2.5-3 years of age. The gestation period is around 105 days, and the female delivers a litter of 2-3 cubs. Even 4-5 cubs in a litter are not abnormal. These cubs are born blind and remain so for about 10 days.
The tigress is responsible for rearing and training these cubs. Weaving takes place when the cubs are around six months old. Cubs are trained in the art of survival through following their mother, hunting the prey, and avoiding risks. These cubs separate from their mother when they around 2 years old. At this time they reach semi-adulthood and are green horns, curious and explorative.
Tigers are obligate carnivores, or meat eaters, and their hunting strategies require dense forests cover. The hunt through stealth to stalk, and their prey base constitutes a wide range of ungulates, they are also known to kill porcupines, monkeys, and smaller mammals. Adult tigers are generally solitary, however, they are also seen with females during his “territory” against his rivals. Infighting between males is common in a high density area.