The tigers are the largest wild cats in the world. The Bengal tiger is one of the famous species of these wild cats found in the Indian subcontinent. It was declared the national animal of India in the year 1973. They are also printed on Bangladeshi money.
The Bengal tiger, also known as the Royal Bengal tiger. We have listed some such interesting Bengal tiger facts for kids in this article. We hope you have fun reading it.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Bengal Tigers for Kids
Being the national animal of both India and Bangladesh, the majority of the Bengal tigers live in these two countries themselves. The mangrove forests of the Sunderbans are the house of these wild cats.
Their population is continuously decreasing because of many factors. Let us know more about these factors and the Bengal tigers below.
1. Bengal tigers have a great memory
They have a brain size similar to that of a chimpanzee. They have a better memory than humans and many other animals. Their brain, along with the Siberian tiger’s brain, is the heaviest among the carnivores except for the polar bear.
Their short term memory is 30 times longer than the short term memory of humans. They are the heaviest and largest cat in the world after the Siberian tiger. They are ferocious and have a lot of strength and courage. They are one of the top predators in the world.
In case you want to know more about the Siberian Tigers, you can check out our article on the same here- 11 Amazing Siberian Tiger Facts for Kids
2. Bengal tigers are solitary animals
They are solitary animals who prefer to be alone unless they want to procreate. They mark their territories with urine sprays. They also do this to attract females.
Males are aggressive defenders of their territories. If another tiger intrudes upon their territory then a violent fight happens between the two. Females are less territorial and often share their territories with other female tigers.
3. The habitat of Bengal tigers
Bengal tigers have adapted themselves to a wide range of habitats such as Tropical forests, dense Grasslands, Subtropical and temperate upland forests, Scrub forests, dry deciduous forests, and Mangrove forests.
They are currently found in four countries of Asia which are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. Fossils of the Bengal tigers found suggests that they used to live in Sri Lanka as well about 20,000 years ago.
4. The diet of the Bengal tigers
Bengal tigers are carnivorous animals that mainly feed on other herbivorous animals. They hunt animals from both land and water. They hunt large and small mammals such as gaur, sambar deer, water buffalo, wild boar, grey langurs, hares, peafowl etc.
They need a diet rich in fats and proteins. However, in captivity, they eat less as compared to the wilds because of their sluggish lifestyle and lower-calorie burning. They are not primarily man-eaters but become so when human settlements intrude into their territories.
5. Bengal tigers prefer darker hours for hunting
Bengal tigers spend much of their day hunting for food, but the favorable hunting time for them is during the night. Bengal tigers are mostly nocturnal animals. They tend to rest during the daytime and hunt for food during the darker hours.
Their eyes are also adapted to have an excellent vision in the dark. They crawl slowly towards their prey and attack them from behind or from the side.
They drag the body of the prey to some other place where it can consume it. They can eat their hunt for more than an hour. In the Sunderbans area of India and Bangladesh, there have been a lot of reports of both man and tiger killings.
The tigers often hunt for food in the human settlements and kill the livestock of farmers. When encountered by the humans, either of the party gets killed.
6. Bengal tigers are excellent swimmers
The Bengal tigers are not just good swimmers; they love to swim as well. They love being in the water and can swim up to 4 miles at a time. During the hot summer days, the Bengal tiger goes into the water to cool itself off.
They hunt in the water as well by following the prey, such as the crocodiles. On land, they can run at a speed of 40 miles per hour but not for long. They run short distances while chasing their prey.
They have plenty of surface area under their paws. It allows them to push off fast while running. They are excellent jumpers as well, reaching up to a height of 13 feet in the air.
7. They have unique stripes
The stripes that you see on the bodies of the Bengal tiger are unique, just like the humans who have unique fingerprints. You can not find two tigers alike in their appearances when it comes to their body stripes.
These stripes help them in camouflage in the wild. They can hide behind bushes and long grasses while chasing their prey due to these stripes. If a Bengal tiger loses all of its body furs, it will still retain the body stripes which can be seen on its body skin.
8. Its saliva is antiseptic
Another surprising fact is that the Bengal tigers have built-in natural first aid. It can often be seen licking its fur, which might make you think that it is cleaning itself. But on many occasions, they do this to defend themselves against infections.
In the wilds, it is most likely to get injuries because of several reasons such as hunting, protecting territories or being chased by poachers. The Bengal tiger’s saliva, which contains natural antiseptic elements prevent the wounds from causing infections and promote faster healing.
9. Male tigers are gentlemen
We know that Bengal tigers are solitary animals, especially males. But when it comes to sharing food with the females and cubs, they show very different and gentlemanly attitudes towards them.
It kills prey and lets the cubs and their mother have their share first and eats only when they are finished. Whereas its close relatives, the lions, shows an opposite behaviour where the males are the ones who always eat first although the females are the ones who do all the hunting.
10. White Tigers are not a different species
You might be surprised to know that the white tigers are not a subspecies or a different species from the Bengal tigers. They are born out of the Bengal tigers only and two orange Bengal tigers can give birth to a white tiger cub.
The colour difference in their body fur is due to the gene mutation and is carried by only one tiger out of every 10,000 tigers. These white tigers have not been spotted since the 1950s in the wild, and it is also against the law to breed tigers to produce more white tigers.
If you want to read more about the white tigers then refer to our article – 11 Engrossing Facts about White Tigers for Kids
11. Bengal tigers are endangered
Bengal tigers are endangered due to over-hunting done by the poachers. The Indian subcontinent alone is housing only 1300-1500 Bengal tigers which are reduced from the previously estimated count of 3000-4500 tigers.
Their population is also decreasing because of habitat loss due to deforestation and urbanization. Tigers are killed for their bones, teeth, coats, and making East Asian medicines. They are killed as revenge by the farmers to safeguard their livestock.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The average male weighs up to 440 – 575 pounds and an average female weighs up to 255 – 360 pounds.
They stand 34 – 45 inches tall at shoulder height.
They can run at a speed of 40 miles per hour.
The Bengal tiger is one of the most dangerous predators in the world.
The Bengal tiger is a carnivorous animal that hunts for large and small mammals such as deer, wild boar, pigs, water buffalo etc.
They live in tropical, subtropical, temperate forests and alluvial grasslands.
Bengal tigers are found in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
They have an average lifespan of about 8 – 10 years in the wild.
The most common colour is orange with black stripes. Others include white with brown or black stripes and golden with black stripes.
It is an endangered species with only 2,500 tigers left.
So these were the amazing Bengal tiger facts for kids. These species urgently need conservation as their population is rapidly decreasing, and their slow reproduction rate cannot cope with this.