Our next stop in our notebooking safari across Asia takes us to the regions of West Bengal and Orissa in India. If you’re new to the notebooking safari, visit our first stop here.
We need to head to the swamp to spot the next animal in our safari. I know you’ll recognize it right away when you see it. Come on with me.
OK, that’s close enough to the water’s edge. Trust me, you don’t want to go in that water! There are all kinds of animals living in there! But look over there, along the water’s edge. Do you see it? It’s a Bengal tiger! That orange coat and black stripes help it to blend in with its surroundings. It’s sitting so still, like it’s just waiting for something to happen. We’ll keep our eyes on it and see what it’s waiting for.
The Bengal tiger is such a part of India that it is considered to be a national symbol. There used to be many more Bengal tigers in the wild than there are now, but over the years the tiger has been hunted heavily because its coat is so valuable. There are still some places where a few hundred tigers live in the wild, but not nearly as many as there used to be. Did you know that you usually won’t find tigers together, unless it’s a mother tiger and her cubs? It’s true; tigers like to live alone. Once they are old enough to have their own territory to call home, they strike out and keep pretty much to themselves.
A lot of animals band together in herds to help protect each other and hunt together. Something tells me that huge cat over there doesn’t need much protection—and he probably doesn’t need much help hunting either!
Oh, there he goes. He’s starting to move. There is a deer that is stranded on that little patch of ground surrounded by water. It can’t go anywhere. I think the tiger knows that. I think we’d better be moving on. When the tiger reaches the deer, it’s not going to be fun to watch.
While tigers are very fierce hunters, and can be extremely dangerous to people, they can also have fun with their cubs. To watch some Bengal tiger cubs playing, click here.
Using the information you find here, answer the following questions:
*Note to parents: The answers to the questions can be found in the section beside the video. Some of the material that follows beneath the video may not be appropriate for younger children. Additionally, not all of the videos are appropriate for all viewers.
True or False:
1. No two tigers have stripes in exactly the same pattern and design.
2. In battles between rhinoceroses and tigers, rhinoceroses always win.
3. Tigers love to swim!
Research challenge: Who can see better in the daytime, humans or tigers? Which can see better at night?
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