A national animal is the representation of the country’s abundance in fauna. It is usually selected based on its features and characteristics that one nation wants to be recognized with. India is known all over the world for its rich culture and heritage so the national animal must be a part of this rich culture. Also it is the nation’s responsibility to conserve and preserve the animal for a longer survival as it serves as the official status of being a national animal.The National Animal of India is Tiger, commonly known as Royal Bengal Tiger. It is the most magnificent animal, looks extremely royal. It is the largest animal in the four big cats (Lion, Leopards, Jaguars and Tigers) and is very strong, powerful and gracious and therefore symbolizes our national wealth and power. The scientific name is Panthera tiger is.
Distribution in India
The tiger species is found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. In India it is found in the forested areas of Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradresh. They dwell comfortably in several habitats. They can be found in dry land of Rajasthan as well as the Sub Tropical forests of Uttarakhand, in the mangroves of Sunderbans and also in the dry and wet deciduous forests of Madhya Pradesh.
Appearance and physical characteristics
They are the most beautiful creatures to look at and can be easily identified with the vertical black stripes on brownish golden coat. Though they are also found in white coat with the vertical black stripes. Their bodies are muscular and powerful, have long retractable claws and long whiskers. They have an excellent sense of smell, hearing and vision. Generally they do not form packs and are seen solitary but they have their marked territories whose size is dependent on the prey. They mark their territories with claw marks on the trees and urine. They are nocturnal in nature thus they are very lazy during the day and hunt in the night time. Being the part of cat family the can climb trees with ease and they are also known to be exceptional swimmers.
They prey on other animals thus are carnivores in nature. Rabbits, deer, buffalo and other herbivores animals serve as their food. At times they are also seen catching baby rhinos and elephants. They have padded paws thus the prey doesn’t even realize that the tiger is somewhere close. It is only when the tiger is closer to them, it pounces and overpowers the other animal. Majorly it aims to sever the spinal cord or bite the neck’s jugular vein so that the prey gives in.
Problems in the survival
The deforestation and urbanization has led to the decrease in the number of tigers in India. But the Indian Government has taken steps to save this endangered species so as of now in Karnataka’s Bandipur National Park there are almost 410 Royal Bengal Tigers and almost 350 and 310 in Corbett National Park Uttarakhand and Bandhavgarh Madhya Pradesh respectively. Tiger has been a prominent animal of the Indian Culture as well and often seen as the animal vehicle of Goddess Durga. Saving and preserving this species is the responsibility of one and all.