Have you been watching Dynasties with David Attenborough on BBC1 these last few Sunday evenings? What a marvellous program the BBC natural history unit has once again produced for us. I know people love to slate the BBC at the license fee but they’ve shown time and time again that this is an area they really excel in. Tonight’s final episode is all about a tiger in the dense jungles of India’s Bandhavgarh Reserve.
This female tiger has four cubs to protect and raise. She is the dominant presence in a prime hunting territory. But she faces some challenges as rival tigers are trying to take over her territory. Even one of her own, now fully grown, cubs has become one of the enemies she and her cubs face. As a lover of big cats, my favourites being cheetahs and lions, I have been looking forward to this episode. Sadly it is the last in the series but you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer.
The dense jungles of Chester
Sadly I didn’t capture this wonderful shot of this fantastic tiger in the dense jungles of India. It was in fact shot at Chester Zoo in the north-west of England back in 2009. At the time we were members and took advantage of evening opening as one of the perks. The tigers there always proved elusive during the day, but in the early summer evening, they seemed to come out of hiding.
A little bit about the tiger
There is a bit of a technicality to me using this shot and talking about the BBC Dynasties episode about the tiger. My shot is of a Sumatran tiger. Sumatran tigers are native to Indonesia and not India. The tiger in Dynasties will be a Bengal (Indian) tiger.
Tigers are the largest of the cat family. Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and are on the Red list of critically endangered species. Protected by law in Indonesia, there are tough provisions for jail time and steep fines for poachers. However, despite conservation and efforts to stop poaching, these beautiful creatures are still hunted and tiger parts and skins remain in high demand.
The Sumatran tigers might be the smallest of all living tigers but they have the darkest coat of them all. Its broad, black stripes are closely spaced and often doubled. Whereas compared to the Siberian tiger, it has striped forelegs.
Sumatran tigers are the smallest tiger subspecies. Males average 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length from head to tail and weigh about 260 pounds (120 kilograms). Females are closer to 7 feet (2 m) in length and weight about 200 pounds (90 kilograms).
The species name for tigers is Panthera tigris and there are nine subspecies. Of those 9 subspecies sadly 3 are now extinct. The subspecies are split into 2 groups; those native to non-insular Asia and those native to the Sunda Islands – such as my Sumatran tiger here.
- Non-insular Asia
- Amur (or Siberian) [Panthera tigris altaica]
- Indian (or Bengal) [Panthera tigris tigris]
- South China [Panthera tigris amoyensis]
- Malayan tiger [Panthera tigris jacksoni]
- Indo-Chinese tiger [Panthera tigris corbetti]
- Caspian [Panthera tigris virgata] – EXTINCT
- Sunda Islands
- Sumatran [Panthera tigris sumatrae]
- Bali [Panthera tigris balica] – EXTINCT
- Javan [Panthera tigris sondaica] – EXTINCT
The technical details
- Camera: Canon EOS 50D
- Lense: Canon EF 75-300mm
- Exposure: 1/60 sec | f/5.6 | ISO100 | 300mm (hand-held)
While you are here
While you are on my blog please take a moment to check out some of my other posts from the pas week:
Thanks for checking out this post.