Bengal Tiger vs Sumatran Tiger Comparison

sumatran tiger vs bengal tiger

A few months back, we published a blog on the difference between Bengal Tiger and Siberian Tiger which gained popularity among wildlife enthusiasts and big cat lovers. In this blog, we will compare the Royal Bengal Tiger with Sumatran Tiger. These two large carnivorous predators share certain similarities, but their distinct personalities and lifestyle choices reflect the environments in which they evolved. Even though they look very similar at first glance, these two big cats have important distinctions. 

In this post, we’ll go through the distinctions between the two types of tigers in great depth so you can be able to recognize them. We will also talk about the population size and the degree to which these tigers are threatened or endangered, as well as their typical habitats, prey, and hunting methods.


Subspecies of Tiger

There is just one species of tiger, although there are several subspecies of tigers. A subspecies is a distinct population within a species that exhibits visual or genetic differences from the rest of its species. There were formerly 9 different tiger subspecies, but currently, only 6 remain. The Bengal, Indo-Chinese, South China, Amur, and Sumatran tigers make up the remaining six subspecies.


Bengal Tiger

Bengal tigers are one of the rarest and most magnificent of all living cat species. They also rank high among the world’s largest feline species. Panthera tigris tigris is the scientific name for this big cat, and it is included with the mammals in the family Felidae.

Tigers of the Royal Bengal subspecies go by a few other names besides “Bengal” and “Indian.” There are many tiger families all across the world, and they make up a sizable percentage of the tiger population. India’s national animal is the Bengal tiger, which is distributed over the countries of India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Burma.

While Bengal tigers tend to top the size charts, the record for the largest tiger ever was set by a Siberian tiger. To put it another way, Bengal tigers are the second largest of the tiger species.

Each Bengal tiger has a distinct set of stripes that serve a similar purpose as fingerprints. The Bengal tiger’s canine teeth are about 4 inches in length, making them the longest of any living cat, and their retractable claws make them ideal for climbing trees.


bengal tiger in bandhavgarh


Bengal Tiger Appearance

The Bengal tiger is one of the largest living cat subspecies.
Many of these tigers have brown or black stripes across their yellow or orange fur, but their bellies and the insides of their limbs are white.

The average male tiger is roughly 3–3.5 feet in height from the ground and 9–10 feet in length (including the tail). Boy Bengals typically weigh between 397 and 569 pounds, making them about the same size as a pig and weighing just about half as much as a polar bear.

Females are typically a bit more diminutive than males. They weigh nearly the same as reindeer but are only between 220 to 350 pounds in weight, measuring between 7.5 and 8.5 feet in length.

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Bengal Tiger Habitat & Distribution

Tigers of the Bengal subspecies can be found in humid forests of all kinds, including those in the tropics, subtropics, and even the middle of the country. They normally travel between 660 and 9,800 feet above ground level. But there is hope for it to change. A Bengal tiger was spotted on camera in Bhutan at an altitude of 13,800 feet in 2008!

Today, you can find these cats in the countries of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. They prefer India’s tropical and subtropical deciduous woods, along with several types of grassland and mangroves. The tiger population in Bangladesh has decreased recently. Mangrove forests in the Sundarbans and the Chittagong Hill Tracts are the sole remaining habitats for these creatures. Chitwan National Park, Parsa National Park, and Bardiya National Park are the only places in Nepal where you can see wild tigers.


Bengal Tiger Diet

The Bengal tiger, like all tigers, is a carnivore. Meat from chital, gaur, and sambar, among other large hoofed creatures, is highly prized by the locals. The barasingha, water buffalo, nilgai, serow, takin, wild boar, hog deer, Indian muntjac, porcupines, hares, leopards, wolves, crocodiles, dhole, and peafowl are all fair game in a pinch. There is mounting evidence that these tigers will plot assaults on rhinoceroses and elephants together.


bengal tiger walking in bandhavgarh


Predators & Threats to Bengal Tigers

The primary risks to these tigers are the loss of habitat and the resulting fragmentation of their population. Even though anti-poaching legislation has been enacted, large game poaching is still a major issue. Unfortunately, individuals are encouraged to breach the law and shoot tigers because there is a booming and lucrative black market for skins and body parts that pay a year’s wage for one kill.

More people are moving into jungle areas, encroaching on tiger territory, because of India’s 2006 Forest Rights Act. The law is a huge help to native American populations, but it will have a devastating effect on cats in the subcontinent.

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The population of the Bengal Tigers

The increase in the Bengal tiger population is slow and uncertain. As of 2011. only about 2,500 remained in the wild. There was an increase of several hundred by the year 2018 with respect to that figure. Approximately 2,967 tigers call India home, according to the latest Tiger Census.


Sumatran Tiger

The majestic Sumatran tiger is rapidly declining and may soon become extinct. They were free to roam the western Indonesian Sunda islands a century ago. Very few people live on the island of Sumatra today. Even while conservationists are working hard to save the species, they can’t keep up with the rate at which their habitat is being destroyed and animals are being poached. Experts fear that the Sumatran tiger will be the first large cat to become extinct in the twenty-first century if things don’t improve soon.

Panthera tigris sondaica is the official scientific name of the Sumatran tiger. The classical Latin term “panthra” and the Ancient Greek “pánthr” are the etymological ancestors of the modern Latin name “Panthera.” Linguists believe the word is a combination of the Ancient Greek words for “all” (pâs) and “that which is hunted” (thra).


sumatran tiger appearence


Sumatran Tiger Appearance

The fur of the Sumatran tiger is stunning, tawny orange with striking black stripes. The stripes on their bodies gradually fade into spots, and the backs of their legs feature tiny dotted lines interspersed with solid ones—but getting this close is highly discouraged. Both zebras and tigers have distinctive stripe patterns, but no two are exactly the same. In addition, the patterns of their coats go all the way to the skin and may be seen even when they’ve been completely shorn. As a species, Sumatran tigers have more stripes than any other.

Male Sumatran tigers, in particular, have ruffs that are bigger and more mane-like than those of any other tiger species. They have long, sturdy whiskers and short, round ears. Both the irises and the tails of Sumatran tigers are yellow, and the animals’ tails are nearly half as long as their bodies.

Male Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the tiger species, weighing in at 220 to 310 pounds, and females at 75 to 110 pounds (165 to 243 pounds). Both men and women average between 2.2 and 2.5 metres (87 and 100 inches) in height (85 to 91 inches). The term “peg to peg” is frequently used when discussing tiger lengths, but what exactly does it mean? The distance implied by the statement excludes the tail and does not take into account any elongating curves.


Sumatran Tigers Habitat & Distribution

Tigers in their native state only exist on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia’s Sunda archipelago. Their diminishing numbers have forced them to scatter across a wide range of habitats, from coastal plains to uninhabited highland woods.

Currently, most of them are located in national parks like Bukit Barisan Selatan and Gunung Leuser to protect themselves from the encroaching of palm oil, acacia, and rubber plantations. Kerinci Seblat National Park has been identified by researchers as the location of the largest subpopulation.

To avoid humans, Sumatran tigers require large areas of forest in which to survive. Currently, and unfortunately, a 39-square-mile region can support up to three tigers.


sumatran tiger with cubs


Sumatran Tiger Diet

In order to meet their nutritional needs, Sumatran tigers must consume meat exclusively. They eat anything from monkeys and birds to tapir, boar, deer, porcupines, fish, and, to the horror of Sumatran farmers, livestock.


Predators & Threats to Sumatran Tigers

Humans present a significant danger to the Sumatran tiger population despite the absence of natural predators. The island’s tiger population has been decimated by a surge in deforestation for rubber, acacia, and palm oil production, which supplies the cosmetics, candies, and “clean-burning” fuel industries. When plantations move in, they drive animals away, trapping them in areas where there is less food and more people to kill them. Moreover, the illegal timber trade is a major factor.

Animal poaching is a major issue as well. The whole of a Sumatran tiger, from the skin to teeth to bones to whiskers to privates, is highly sought after by humans. Despite the risk of imprisonment and large fines, villagers continue to engage in poaching for tiger parts because of the lucrative underground market. A local family can live off the profits from one tiger kill for an entire year.


The population of Sumatran Tigers

Roughly one hundred thousand tigers were in the wild a century ago. Since then, things have weakened significantly. There were more than a thousand Sumatran Tigers in Indonesia in 1970. Some estimates put the current population around 400, while others put it closer to 250. There are fewer than 50 people in any of the known subpopulations, and their environment is decreasing quickly.

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