Animal: Bengal Tiger

Why This Animal?
I chose the Bengal Tiger. Morgan gave a presentation during Ag and we played a game that made me want to learn more about the tigers. I like the color of their fur. It is yellow, orange, with black or brown stripes and is a good camouflage out in the grasslands and rainforest. They have tails that are about 3 feet long. They can weigh about 520 pounds. About twice the size of a market pig. The Bengal Tiger babies will stay two or three years with their mom but other tigers will go off on their own when they get old enough. I wonder why this happens? I also found out the Bengal tiger lives in India. I always wanted to go there because it is hot and you do not have to be freezing all the time. But I would like to see the Himalayas. I would like to learn more about the people and culture of India. But most of all, I would like to go for a run along the beaches of the Arabian Sea. These are just a few reasons why I chose the Bengal tiger.

Food Web

Animal location

I became interested in learning more about the Bengal tiger when Morgan Sweeting gave a presentation during Ag. When I got home, I went on the computer and found this group going to India to study the Bengal tiger. I signed up to go with them. The group pays for half of the trip. I got my airplane ticket to India, and started out to find the Bengal tigers. We arrived in India during the summer time in May. The season lasts from April to June and is hot and dry. It’s a good time to search for tigers. The group decided to try the grassland areas first. Bengal tigers also like the rainforests, but the forests are too thick and dangerous. We shouldn’t have much rain since the monsoon season is later. While driving through India I saw a lot of ‘’ shocks ‘’ metal buildings that look like cardboard boxes and some other homes built out of brick and mortar. I see cotton fields in India and sugar cane. Those are the most popular items grown. I get to eat pomegranates. They are one of my favorites. I like to suck the juice off the seed, I also had bananas and mangoes. Bengal tigers drink groundwater that comes from the Bay of Bengal, Arabia sea and Indian Ocean. In the grasslands I saw the Bengal tiger kill a water Buffalo. It was so cool watching it hunt and attack its prey. They also eat hog deer and wild pigs. We saw a lot of poisonous snakes slithering in the grasses. It was scary because I don’t like snakes. I watched how the Bengal tigers behave in the wild. They travel alone during the night. We could hear the Bengal tigers roar from 2 miles away. I took a bunch of pictures of the Bengal tigers and India, as well as, videos. Thank you for reading about my journey to India to find the Bengal tigers. I hope to go back some day.

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Observation Journal:
Day 1
We are driving in a pickup to the grasslands. It is very dusty. When we got to the grasslands, we walked a mile in. I have binoculars, a video camera, papers and something to write with. Then, they started setting up the camp. I go off by myself to find the Bengal tiger. I sit down on the grass looking with my binoculars. I didn’t see anything. It was getting dark so I head back to camp. Then I ate something and went to sleep.
Day 2
I got up at 6 a.m. I was excited to go find the Bengal tiger! I got something to eat. I packed all my equipment that I was taking and put it in my backpack. I took the same path I did yesterday. I saw a big snake on the path and when I was walking down more I saw a wild pig that scared me because it had horns coming out of it mouth. I got to the spot to look for the Bengal tiger with the binoculars in the grass. I didn’t see anything so I just stayed there for two hours. I could hear a tiger roaring far away. Then I heard a noise in the grass. When I looked again, I saw a real Bengal tiger with a cub. The mom was licking the cub’s coat. It was hard to see at first because the tigers striped coat blended in with the surroundings. I stayed very still so it could not hear me and videotaped it! It was so cool! I found the Bengal tiger. I stayed there videotaping and watching how they behaved. They like to play with their cubs in a rough way.
Day 3
The grassland is shelter for the Bengal tiger so that it can hide and also it can stalk its prey like deer, wild hog and water buffalo. They also eat small animals like turtles, frogs and crabs. If farmers destroy the grasslands the Bengal tiger will be forced from hiding and stalking its prey. If the wild hog, deer and water buffalo are the Bengal tiger food, they will disappear with the grasslands. If these animals can see the Bengal tiger they will leave and go to a different habit. The water is important to the Bengal tiger because, if it does not have water it will die. Tigers also need water to stay cool. If the water hole dries up all of the animals will move out of the habit or die. The three important things are food, water and shelter that the Bengal tiger needs to survive.
Day 4
The Bengal tiger will not be in a group, they are usually by themselves. The only time you see groups of Bengal tigers is when there is a mother and her cubs, during mating time or to share a kill. Two male tigers will fight over territory. A male tiger will mark its territory by peeing or spraying a scent from a special gland. They patrol their territory all the time. They move around and catch prey at night. During the hot part of the day, they sleep. They are always grooming themselves with their tongue that removes dirt and loose hair from their fur coat. They like to go swimming in the water and are really good swimmers. However, you don’t see them climb trees like small house cats do.

Day 5
The male Bengal tiger does not get along with other male tigers. The Bengal tiger eats other animals for its food. It is not an omnivore but it is a carnivore. The tigers coexist with other carnivores, but they usually do not interact with other species because they are active at night and other animals are active during the day. The Bengal tigers help keep the population of wild hogs down. If the Bengal tigers eat all the animals then they could come after man. That is why we should hunt them to keep the numbers down, but not to let them go extinct.

Animal Research:
This is my wildlife research technique. It is in the grassland monitoring the Bengal tiger movements. I go out to the grasslands with an Indian guide to tranquilize a Bengal tiger. While the tiger is asleep, we put a radio collar around its neck and then we hide. We stay around to make sure that poachers do not come and kill the Bengal tiger and turn it into a fur coat. The radio collar around its neck helps me monitor its movements in the grasslands. It’s not safe to be around the Bengal tiger because it is so dangerous and could kill a man very easy. It is better to monitor them from a distance with the radio collar so you do not get killed or hurt really bad. The collar will tell me if the tiger is on the move, resting, or dead. The transmitter will make a high pitched beep when the Bengal tiger is dead. If the animal is moving it will make a low pitched beep. If the animal is sleeping or resting it will make a low humming sound.

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Fellow Researcher Profile
John Goodrich is researching the Bengal tiger. Some of his hobbies include fishing, hunting and hiking. I also like to do that same type of stuff. When I was little, I liked to look for animal footprints in the woods. John likes to dig up the footprints from the animal and bring it home to share with is family. When I was in 1st grade, I used to watch sows give birth to the little pigs. It was so cool to watch the sow give birth to a little tiny pig. John watches pollywogs turn into frogs. I never heard the word pollywogs until February 23. John and I agree that the Bengal tiger is the largest wild cat. We also agree that we need to stop agriculture from harming them. The farmers should not destroy the Bengal tiger’s habitat.

Dacres, Kevin. "Animal Diversity Web." 302 Found. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.

Goodrich, John. "Make a Difference." Tiger Researcher. Wildlife Conservation Society. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.