Since its release in April, 2022, this extraordinary video of a Bengal Tiger leaping from a boat and swimming to shore has enthralled animal lovers all over the world and has been viewed over a million times. It has also prompted a lot of joy on Twitter as we see from a few tweets included at the end of the footage.
Release in the Sundarbans
The video was shot as a tiger was released into a natural habitat in the Sundarbans and this tiger was taking no chances! As soon as they spotted the wonderful shoreline backed with lush green vegetation they were off the boat and paddling through the water.
The Sundarbans is a mangrove forest on the Bay of Bengal, India located on the delta of three rivers – the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. It has been a World Heritage site since 1987 and consists of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of mangrove forests. It is known worldwide as a haven for many animal species including 260 different species of birds, the estuarine crocodile, the Indian python and the Bengal Tiger. The tiger in this footage had clearly spotted home!
Protecting the Bengal Tiger
In scenes reminiscent of the movie Life of Pi, we see this magnificent tiger leap from a moving boat. Bengal tigers are amazing animals – and are very big. They weigh up to 600 pounds and can reach over 9 ft in length. These apex predators are superb hunting machines with deadly teeth that can be as long as 4 inches and are very sharp – they can kill their prey with just one puncture wound. This together with their huge claws, size, power and speed make them a formidable predator.
Due to human encroachment on their natural habitats and hunting and poaching, their numbers have been dropping. At one time there were 100,000 on the Indian subcontinent but numbers have reduced considerably. There is good news though! Thanks to conservation measures such as the one filmed here by Indian Forest Service warden, Parveen Kaswan, numbers are rising. A tiger census conducted in 2018 showed that there were roughly 3,000 Bengal tigers in India which is a marked increase from the 2,200 recorded four years previously.
Hopefully, the tiger that we see leaping so joyfully from the boat will breed and increase the numbers even further!
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