Tiger, (Panthera tigris), the largest member of the cat family (Felidae), is rivaled only by the lion (Panthera leo) in strength and ferocity. The tiger is endangered throughout its range, which stretches from the Russian Far East through parts of North Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asia to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The Siberian, or Amur, tiger (P. Tigris Altaica) is the largest, measuring up to 4 meters (13 feet) in total length and weighing up to 300 kg (660 pounds). The Indian, or Bengal, tiger (P. tigris tigris) is the most numerous and accounts for about half of the total tiger population. Males are larger than females and may attain a shoulder height of about 1 meter and a length of about 2.2 meters, excluding a tail of about 1 meter; weight is 160–230 kg (350–500 pounds). Easily recognized by its coat of reddish-orange with dark stripes, the tiger is the largest wild cat in the world. The big cat’s tail is three feet long. On average the big cat weighs 450 pounds, about the same as eight ten-year-old kids. It stands three feet tall with teeth four inches long and claws as long as house keys.
A female tiger gives birth to a litter of three or four cubs, who she will care for until they are a year and a half old. These cubs quadruple in size during their first month!
The powerful predator generally hunts alone, able to bring down prey such as deer and antelope. Tigers wait until dark to hunt. The tiger sprints to an unsuspecting animal, usually pulling it off its feet with its teeth and claws. If the prey animal is large, the tiger bites its throat to kill it; smaller prey is usually killed when the tiger breaks its neck. Tigers have been known to eat up to 60 pounds of meat in one night, but more often they consume about 12 pounds during a meal. It may take days for a tiger to finish eating its kill. The cat eats until it’s full, and then covers the carcass with leaves and dirt. The tiger comes back to feed some more.
Tigers live far apart from each other. A tiger knows if it is in another tiger’s territory based on the trees around him. Each tiger marks the trees in its area with urine and special scratches.
Unlike most members of the cat family, tigers seem to enjoy the water and swim well. Some tigers live where it gets very cold in India and parts of southeast Asia. The whole species is endangered throughout its range.
Tigers have been overhunted for their fur as well as for other body parts that many people use in traditional medicines. Tigers’ habitat has also dwindled seriously as humans have developed land for uses such as farming and logging. However, in the Siberian region of Russia, there’s hope that these big cats are making a comeback.
Because of their size, strength, and predatory skills, tigers are considered one of the “big cats.” Lions, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars are also part of this grouping.
Tiger stripes are special to each individual, and their tails help them to keep their balance. The big cats share all but 4.4% of their DNA with domestic cats.
Kanha National Park, MP
The Kanha National Park was originally a part of the Gondwana or the “land of the Gonds”. The forest of the Kanha Tiger Reserve was inhibited by two indigenous tribes of Central India, the Gonds and the Baigas. The vicinity of the reserve is still occupied by the villagers of these tribes.
Located in Mandla and Balaghat districts, the Kanha Tiger Reserve is being occupied by two major sanctuaries, the Hallon and the Banjar Sanctuaries. Respectively covering the area of 250 sq km and 300 sq km, the Kanha Reserve together forms a greater area of 1,949 sq km.
Kanha National Park, which is amongst the well-known tiger reserves worldwide, is located among the Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh India, Kanha is located 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Jabalpur. Kanha stretches across 22° 7′ to 22° 27′ N and 80° 26′ to 81° 3′ E. The Park has two entrances at opposite ends, one at Khatia – Kisli and the other one is from mukki gate. the distance between mukki and kisli gate is about 40 kms. Its borders touch raipur city of Chattisgarh. Situated in the maikal hills in the dense forests between the vindhya and satpura ranges, is India’s second national park has variety of flora and fauna. Kanha suffers from extremities of climate with scorching hot summers and chilly winters. Monsoons offers relief to wild animals in Kanha tiger reserve but the road within the park become very dirty and gets damaged during this season. The best time to visit Kanha is from the winter Season to the begining of spring Season, i.e., from the months of October to April
Tiger (Panthera tigris) Landscape
History of the Park
1800- Before 19th century, the area was being ruled by the Gond dynasty since many centuries and the Kanha Forest was little known since the slash and burn cultivation methods of both the Baiga and Gond tribes were being dominated at that area. They had good knowledge of the animals and their behaviors.
1923- The year when a landmark classic book published, entitled “Wild Animals in Central India” that completely focused on the Kanha region’s wildlife. The book was written by A. A. Dunbar Brander, a government official and a keenly observant amateur naturalist.
1969- In the early 1969, the park management began to relocate villages within the core area like Sonf, Bishanpura and Gorhela and a good management between the reserve and the neighborhood area has been the key factor of its success in the conservation efforts.
1980- The Kanha Park became the perfect location for Stanley Breeden and Belinda Wright’s award-winning National Geographic Film, “Land of the Tigers”. The same year followed both Kanha and Ranthambore (in Rajasthan) parks to witness the successful attempt of the first phase of Project Tiger and the annual visitor-ship to both the parks dramatically increased.
1989-91 From 1989 to 1991, an intensive collaboration at Kanha Park between the Centre for Environmental Education in Ahmadabad and the United States National Park Service (under the auspices of the Indo-U.S. Sub-commission on Science and Technology) resulted in the installation of a multi-faceted informational program at Kanha, consisting of a park museum at Kisli, two orientation centers and a variety of publications.
1991- The early 90s was devoted to enhancing the features of the Kanha Tiger Reserve including the park’s biodiversity, expansion of tourists’ infrastructure and the reserve’s enviable record for research, monitoring and security. According to many observers, Kanha is undoubtedly the premier national park in India and one of the finest wildlife reserves in the world.
2000- The Kanha National Park was being awarded as the best tourism friendly national park announced by the Dept of Tourism, Govt of India