Where have all the Bengals Gone?

bengal tiger-kathy mackenzie

Caesar, 12-year-old Bengal tiger

Met Caesar. Born in 2002, this 12-year-old Royal Bengal Tiger came to live at the Austin (Texas) Zoo and Sanctuary after being surrendered by his previous owners.

These cats live to be eighteen years old and can grow up to ten feet long in length. The heaviest tiger ever recorded (in 1967) weighed in at 875 pounds!

Maybe it’s due to the belief these solitary cats have medicinal purposes, or perhaps for their gorgeous fur (no two cats have exact same stripes) or for the meat of their body parts, that these majestic cats are now listed on the Endangered Animal List. Just over 100 years ago, the tiger population in India ranged between 40,000-50,000. By 1972 that number drastically reduced to only 1850. Three of the eight tiger subspecies became extinct with this time period.

In an effort to prevent all Bengals from extinction, Panthera launched Tigers Forever in July of 2006 with the Wildlife Conservation Society in a response to rapidly declining tiger populations. For more details about their accomplishments and what you can do to help, please visit: http://www.panthera.org/node/1399

Kathy MacKenzie is an animal photographer and owner of a mobile pet photography service, Feather and Fur Pet Photography.