Endangered Bengal Tiger

Bengal tiger at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve Rajasthan
Bengal tiger at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve Rajasthan. Photo by Koshy Koshy
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Bengal tiger fact – You’re a Bengal tiger, your penis is worth $6,000, watch out……

Of all the Bengal Tiger facts by far the most important as far as many people are concerned is that this animal is highly endangered because of human activity. The situation is becoming precarious (Dec 2014) and getting worse. The core of the article has to be based on conservation.

A US tiger breeder of questionable ethics, Joe Exotic, says it is certain that the tiger will become extinct in the wild in the not too distant future. He should know, he’s partly to blame. He is also knowledgeable about the tiger and he when he states that the tiger will become extinct he says it with sadness.

Once again we should ask ourselves why humankind kills the most beautiful animals. Why humankind destroys the most beautiful landscapes. And don’t expect so called conservationists to help! Some conservationists kill tigers (opens a new window). Although conservationists do sterling work, big business (the business of poaching, cutting up and distributing tiger body parts and destroying habitat) is a much more organized and coordinated process even though it is in flagrant breach of CITES and decent behaviour.

The truth is that if one writes about Bengal tiger facts and if we agree the most important fact is as mentioned above, we need to discuss some bigger issues; issues such as world population explosion and human behavior, as it is these issues that are at the root of the predicament into which we have placed the magnificent Bengal tiger.

It is too easy to spew out the usual Bengal tiger facts. It is much harder to deal with the underlying causes of the most important fact of all, the gradual extinction of this fine creature that shares the world with us.

Bengal tiger

Bengal Tiger Facts – Highly Endangered Species – The Reasons

The Bengal tiger (Royal Bengal tiger) is found mainly in Bangladesh and India, and also in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma) and Tibet. To be brutally honest (and apologies to these countries) these are not the best of countries to be living in, particularly if you are a fantastic looking wild animal.

They are all clustered together. Click on the link to see a Google map covering these countries. Humans like to exploit beautiful wild animals. And countries such as Myanmar are well known for high levels of corruption and a lack of human rights never mind animal rights. Where there is corruption you are bound to get circumvention of agreements such as CITES. CITES is intended to prevent trade in wildlife. It is based on international agreements and is unenforceable.

They are all near China and I am afraid to say China has a very poor animal rights record. I keep banging on about China and, yes, criticizing them, because I have to and I need to. I have no political axe to grind. I need not play political games or be politically correct. We really need to address the truth and actually do something if we are to save the Bengal tiger or any species of tiger for that matter.

China is the place where (in some parts of the country) they eat cat meat (there are other countries where this happens, the link takes you a list). The thing is they half kill the cat in a brutal manner before cooking it as it tastes better that way. I’m sorry but, shame on China and their cruelty to animals. This is the country where they capture and place wild bears into tiny cages and “tap” bile from their gall bladders for Chinese medicinal purpose. The bears live a life of pure hell and thankfully die young. Ancient Traditional Chinese medicine plays a major role in the decimation of the tiger as tiger body parts are used in this medicine. It is a medicine rooted in the superstitious past which is still with the Chinese to the present. I hope the Chinese government do something about this – please do.

Please note that I am primarily talking about Chinese medicine as practiced in China. As I understand it, in the USA, for example, people, who practice this medicine there, are more enlightened and have found substitutes for tiger parts in their medicine. This information comes from Lixin Huang, MS, President of Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, President of American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He says that this form of medicine is designed to promote harmony between people and wildlife. That I am afraid is laughable. You may have taken steps in America to rectify a wrong but in China it’s the same old story. I also understand that in the UK substitutes are used but can you believe it? I doubt it.

The motivator behind the killing of tigers in Bangladesh is their value, their worth, and lets remind ourselves that Bangladesh is a poor country. The per capita income is less than $500 with 36% below the poverty line and 35% of the population unemployed (src: www.glocaleye.org). Wikipedia says the per capita income is $1,374 however.

V. Sudarshan who writes a diary for OutlookIndia.com says it better than me. I can’t use his exact words as it would be a copyright violation but he says that an animal will become endangered when half the world (the Asian half) is prepared to spend a lot of money to eat that animal’s penis. The tiger suffers this indignity. And why does the ignorant human think that eating a tiger’s penis is good for him – to make him perform better in bed; pathetic really, isn’t it. If it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable. Update June 2011: China has opened a rhino farm! They farm the rhino’s horn; cut it off and let it regrow. They think the horn will give them a better erection….ahh what the hell can you say about that? Total madness and ignorance.

At a fundamental level it is education will save the tiger because through education people will learn that a tiger’s penis does not make you better at sex and that wantonly killing the tiger makes the world less good for us all. It is shocking to think that in many parts of the world there remains a high level of acute ignorance and cruelty. In the West we tend to forget this being so distanced from it. Animal cruelty is present in the West as well of course (click on the label in the margin for more on cat cruelty).

Tiger bone pills

Above: BENGAL TIGER FACTS – Tiger bone pills photo by Krista76. The box of tiger bone pills are at the top of the picture.

Bengal Tiger Facts – Tiger Parts

Tiger parts including Bengal tiger parts and their derivatives fetch these sorts of prices at the time of this post:

—–Tiger Penis (as at June 2007): £3,000 or about $6,000 (order well in advance due to scarcity…..) (src: news.softpedia.com)

—–Tiger Bone Wine (see Tiger Bone) (as at June 2008): $240 (£120) for 500 ml (a bottle of wine is usually 75ml) – min order 1500 ml (three bottles). Extraordinarily, this product is being sold at wildlife “sanctuaries” in China. One is the Qinhuangdao wildlife rescue center and animal park (a little cheaper at the park at $186 for 500ml bottle). The center’s staff say the bone comes from dead tigers from the center who have fought each other. Believe that? Farmed tigers are used to make tiger bone wine.

How many tigers are fighting each other? It must be more than two to keep up supplies. And if that is the case the center is negligent in not caring for their tigers properly. In addition it is almost certain that these tigers are inbred. They have to be as they are so scarce. Inbreeding can cause inbreeding depression (meaning ill health due to the inheritance of recessive genes that would otherwise remain dormant) – see too: Inbreeding of Wildcats. This is what the human race has come down to. Killing all the wild tigers and mistreating the ones we care to keep alive (src: Daily Telegraph).

Bengal tiger
Bengal tiger – photo by Chiceaux under creative commons

Bengal Tiger Facts – CITES

China is a member signed up to CITES (UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). This prevents the trade in tiger parts. China clearly isn’t carrying out its obligations under this convention. Other CITES members who appear not to be pulling their weight in preventing the trade in tiger parts are:



—-Bangladesh (the Bengal tiger is the national animal of this country)

—-Myanmar (Burma)


In other words nearly all the countries from which tiger parts are allegedly being exported or in which the Bengal tiger lives are members of CITES. Extraordinary. These countries cannot be carrying out their obligations under the convention for various reasons probably (I allege) associated with corruption. Burma certainly has a appalling human rights record so God help wild animals.

Please see: CITES in relation to cats and IUCN Red List for cats.

Bengal tiger
Bengal tiger photo by Luke Robinson (creative commons)

Bengal Tiger Facts – Tiger population and Human population

One major element in the decline in the tiger including the Bengal tiger is the relentless rise in human population – I know that this is a taboo subject but it has to be addressed. This will inevitably put strain on land (space), food resources, water resources, and result in the depletion of habitat for wild animals that are the prey of the Bengal tiger. The tiger’s habitat is so reduced that it has to share it with humans in Bangladesh, which results in tigers killing humans (inevitably), which in turn leads humans to kill tigers. Who is at fault in this cycle of death? Answer: Humans as they failed to manage population growth.

Bangladesh has the highest human population density in the world (except for some “city states” which are not comparable). The current population of Bangladesh is about 150,000,000.

It is impossible to compare the populations of the Bengal tiger in the wild against human population growth because there is insufficient data on Bengal tiger population fluctuations over time. We do know that the current population is something in the order of 1,400 in the wild. Of course there are more in existence but they are in captivity and in my opinion exploited.

This video shows how we as humans exploit this proud and wonderful creature. I can’t see but it seems these tigers are chained up. They are probably broken in spirit (a beautiful wild spirit) and may even be drugged for all I know {I am not saying they are just speculating as this seems dangerous}

The human population growth in Bangladesh can be summarized in the chart below (src for human pop = http://www.populstat.info/Asia/bangladc.htm

What hope for wild animals in such limited habitat?

Bengal tiger
Bengal tiger photo by rexb under creative commons

Can you find a tiger in the Indian Bengal tiger reserves? It is becoming more and more difficult. Are the reserves too small to sustain viable tiger populations? These reserves are island reserves cut off from each other. Has there been a fundamental error in planning these reserves? Is a large tiger reserve corridor across Bhutan the key to the survival of the Bengal tiger: Tigers of Bhutan.

Bengal Tiger Facts – The Tiger

See lots more on the tiger generally by clicking on these links:

Pages tagged with “tiger”
Bengal tiger man eater
Pages tagged with “Bengal tiger”
Pages tagged with “Bengal tiger reserves”
Pages tagged with “Tiger conservation”
Tiger Farms

There are many more tiger pages. Please use the custom search.

Here are some Bengal tiger facts in relation to the actual species, the animal (src: Wikipedia):

—-Scientific name: Panthera tigris tigris or Panthera tigris bengalensis

—-subspecies of tiger and the most common species of tiger

—-Normally considered the second largest tiger after the Siberian Tiger (click on this link to read about and see the White Siberian tiger).

—-Primarily found in India and Bangladesh (see above).

—-Size, males: 400 – 594 lbs.

—-heaviest recorded: 857 lbs and 11 feet long (debatable).

—-prey: small and large such as wild boar, sambar, barasingha, chital, nilgai, gaur, water buffalo, young Asian Elephants, rhino calves (rarely), leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes, crocodiles and dholes (these latter animals are predators and it rarely preys on these animals).

—-population: was millions tens of thousands of years ago or more (estimated 20 million) now about 1500 in the wild and 4,000 in total. Most are in captivity. (src: Wikipedia). See Tiger Population. And Tiger Population in India.

—-White Bengal tiger: some Bengal tigers in captivity (Dudhwa National Park) are white due to genetic pollution from the importation of a Bengal tiger from the UK in 1976 that carried the recessive gene for a dilute coloration.

—-Genetic impurity: Apparently many Bengal tigers in captivity throughout the world are not purebred. In 1997 there were a mere 210 guaranteed purebred Bengal tigers in captivity worldwide (per a studbook record).

—Accurate population measurement: It is difficult to find accurate data on tiger populations. India miscounted until recently when the Wildlife Institute of India used a more scientific approach (DNA profile and cameras). This reduced the population by half.

—Swimming: Tigers including the White Siberian tiger excellent swimmers both above and under water. They have webbing in between the toes. This is the same as the Asian Fishing cat.

Update 3rd-Nov. 2008: The Times Newspaper reports a substantial increase in the number of attacks by Bengal tigers on humans. Read about it here: Bengal tiger is a man eater.


The Bengal tiger finds her/himself in countries where there is a lack of commitment to preserve this species of big cat. Quite the converse is the case as this cat is still exploited. Captive tigers are inbred and they are often not purebred. Captive tigers parts are sold in consumer products in China. The situation for this once most common of tigers is dire. The current indications are that in the future we will be confined to seeing this most magnificent of wild animals in zoos and small reserves and even then, will the tiger you see be a true Bengal tiger……………..?


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

6 thoughts on “Endangered Bengal Tiger”

  1. Not only are these demented invasive-species house-cats-ONLY “animal lovers” now killing off all Big Cats in all wildlife reserves around the world:

    …the rest of this demented rant has been deleted because not only was it moronic and rude it was completely off-topic. Woody. try and grow up.

    1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

      You ignorant waste of space, you blame cats and those of us who love them for everything.
      Like Michael says GROW UP, why don’t you!

  2. Your essay on this tragic theme must have been based on years of reading.
    Comments upon your cri de coeur on behalf of doomed cats? None.
    Questions? A few.
    Some years ago a friend of our neighbors’, a serious-minded young Muslim man, was sitting in their living room, glancing at a Playboy magazine. He turned a few pages, then put it aside, shrugged his shoulders, and said, ‘This isn’t useful.’ (Everyone broke up.)
    What action could your readers take to help prevent the extinction of wildlife in other countries? It would be callous, and probably impossible, not to write about these disasters. But other than making your readers sad, could you propose a remedial plan for them to consider? (The same question can be asked of the National Geographic’s articles on poaching.) Because, if it just leaves them stranded, what more is your essay than another ‘ain’t it awful’ PoC post?
    Unless the placebo effect is as startling as scientists are beginning to discover, how can a man who reposes his faith in tiger bone wine and powdered rhino fail to see his condition is unchanged? Why do aging men buy these nostrums? Are they motivated by the same mindset, graven in granite, that perpetuates belief in the power of prayer? That entrenches the delusion a graduate degree is the autobahn to a handsome income?
    Although it can turn everything blue and trigger a stroke, have Chinese men never heard of a drug that outshines tiger parts? How can this be, when China has embraced a western way of life far more effective in trashing the earth than any of their pseudo-remedies?
    With their 5,000 years of civilization, the Chinese aren’t slouches. They’re brilliant, in fact. Which deepens the mystery. How can their moneyed, high-end consumers who buy concoctions too costly for men entrapped in ghettoes or rural backwaters sunk in superstition, remain unaware their expenditures are worthless?
    Or ARE they? Are there testimonials proving that they work? Do their women fake swoons and think, in their hearts, that they’d gladly trade a semblance of kindness, a grain of shared feeling for a rigid eyesore?
    Unless he lives by himself in a cave, how can a Chinese man not know there’s a pill more impressive than his oriental take on Rocky Mountain oysters? It staggers belief. What gung-ho Native American immersed in his career of scalping the palefaces in his casino (he’s also into in four-star restaurants and luxury resorts, aquaculture, arts and crafts, writing books, etc.) would turn his back on these reasons for existence and end his days mulling over his beautiful cultural artifacts — his ‘Brother Crow’ and ‘Sister Moon’ myths?
    As for any other perks in scarfing down tigers, rhinos and bear bile, could credulous people die of cancers and other diseases because of their faith in these traditions?
    Artificial flavors do not belong in food. But do the Chinese reject everything synthetic? If they oppose it in drugs, would they also condemn it in – say – perfume? Does perfume have no fragrance for them unless it’s infused with spermaceti, ambergris, and musk from animals being hunted to extinction? Is the Chinese nose dead to Chanel No. 5? To the after-shave Terre d’Hèrmes? (A fascinating book: The Perfect Scent: A year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York – Chandler Burr.)
    Does this website reach Communist China?
    China has a growing number of animal rights organizations. Is there any way to visit with them without jeopardizing their safety?
    Bangladesh and other Asian countries are running out of space. At some point, will their governments have to mandate reversible neutering? Does most of the chaos boil down to penniless, overcrowded people?
    If education is the key, what can make Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry and Jeremy Rivkin, et al. as fun reading as Danielle Steel and Dean Koontz? Who doesn’t prefer potato chips to quinoa?
    In a world of dwindling resources, what can stop America from grabbing far more for itself than any other nation?
    The late Charles Laughton had an unforgettable voice. Sylvia Earle and Samantha Power have equally beautiful women’s voices. Dr. Earle, who at 79 still wants to be diving, talks with her listeners in a friendly, youthful way, explaining how ‘everyone’ can do things to restore what’s being lost. She doesn’t bang a gavel. She doesn’t pound a pulpit. What she does is tactfully try to persuade her listeners to eat less meat. Why? Millions of livestock worldwide are killing the bays with runoff. She doesn’t eat fish.* Again, why? Because commercial catches – including once plentiful sharks – have declined to a tenth of what they were for millions of years and continued to be until a few decades ago. She doesn’t eat fish because coral reefs are a moonscape shrouded in commercial fishing line. Yet Dr. Earle describes the devastation with hope in her belief the oceans can be saved if people are brought to understand what they have done to their life-sustaining, blue wilderness.
    In sum, what can PoC do for vanishing species? Can mankind survive only by destroying the earth’s majestic cats?
    * All is not lost. If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em. The blue catfish and the Asian snakehead, two aggressive invaders in this country, have a delectable flavor, and restaurants are wanting to turn them into fish & chips.

    1. I actually wrote this about 5 years ago. It was on a subdomain and Google stopped finding it so I moved it to here because it deserves to be read I believe. The idiocy of humankind when it hurts wildlife especially the cats – wild and domestic motivates me. I become angry.

      But other than making your readers sad, could you propose a remedial plan for them to consider?

      We – the individual person – can’t stop the demise of the Bengal tiger. It is too late. Big business rules everything and this is business.

      China does see this site but not many visit it. I don’t know why. China does block a lot of websites.

      The long Chinese civilisation does not stop some of them actually believing that eating a tiger’s penis makes them better in bed, which is a reflection of how humankind has actually barely moved on for centuries. There still mass idiocy and a lack of education.

      Look at ISIS the Islam terror group who live in Medieval times. The Chinese are not civilised in my view as long as some of them eat tiger body parts and use exotic species in their moronic but ancient medicine.

      Ancient traditional Chinese medicine is the curse of nature on the planet. I’d ban it from all countries. America and the UK should ban Chinese medicine shops.

    2. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

      The trouble is that as much as we would like to, we can’t save all the animals worldwide, domestic or wild. We can each only do our best in our own little corner of the world and do what we can to help other countries too, which of course is never enough.
      I think the problems are so overwhelming that many people just bury their heads in the sand and sometimes I wish I could do that too.
      It’s very hard and very depressing at times, caring about all animals.

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