The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), while the most numerous tiger subspecies, is nevertheless listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. There are reports that the population is growing after serious conservation efforts, but numbers likely remain below just 2,500 wild animals in India, with further numbers around 500 in Bangladesh, 250 in Nepal and 100 in Bhutan. India and Bangladesh consider it their national animal.
Huge predators, males have an average total length of 270 to 310 cm including the tail, with females around 10-15% smaller. The tail is around 85-110 cm in length and tigers stand on average 90-110 cm in height at the shoulders. Males can weigh 180-258 kg (females 100-160 kg. Bengal canine teeth are the longest amongst the big cats, ranging from 7.5-10 cm in length. Tigers have been recorded at 325 kg and 320 cm in length without the tail, incredibly impressive predators. The Bengal tiger’s coat is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black; the belly and the interior parts of the limbs are white, and the tail is orange with black rings.
Tigers prefer hunting large ungulates, but frequently kill wild boar. They will sometimes take small prey such as porcupines, hares and peafowl, or rarely much larger prey like adult elephants and rhinoceroses. Even other predators including leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes and crocodiles can appear on the menu, especially if injured, old or weak. They will consume large amounts after a kill, often 18-40 kg of meat. Prey is stalked and taken from a close as possible where they grasp the prey’s throat to kill it.