Sponsoring a Bengal Tiger

In early 2013 Indus Experiences decided to sponsor a Bengal tiger cub at Bandhavgarh National Park in India. Animal conservation is absolutely vital to the planet as we struggle to live in harmony with other animals.  Man has an insatiable hunger for land which is eating away at the natural habitats of many of the earth’s wildlife.  One of the most magnificent animals in gravest danger is the tiger.

Bengal tiger lying down, India - Photo Indus Tours

Bengal tiger – photo Indus Tours

According to the WWF there are only six living sub-species of tiger; the Amur (Siberian), Bengal (Indian), Indo-Chinese, Malayan, Sumatran and South China. Three other sub-species, the Bali, Caspian and Javan, are now extinct.  They say, “The tiger is the biggest, the most iconic, and also one of the most endangered of all cats. Over the last century wild tiger numbers have fallen disastrously, by more than 95% – mainly due to poaching and the destruction of forests and other habitats they need for survival.”  There are only around 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Tigers are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large  areas of habitat to support their hunting needs. There is some excellent conservation work being done to save these animals and their habitat.  We wanted to help.

Tiger safari - photo Bandhavgarh National Park

Tiger safari – photo Bandhavgarh National Park

Set in the Vindhya Hills in Madhya Pradesh in northern India, Bandhavgarh National Park was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and has the largest density of Royal Bengal Tigers in India.  It is a natural hub for White Tigers and is famous for its excellent wildlife conservation work.

Bengal Tiger Mother and cubs - photo Kay Tiwari

Bengal Tiger mother and cubs – photo Kay Tiwari

We chose an young male cub, whose mother is Wakeeta (meaning Flower) & father is Shashi (meaning Moon). We asked for help in naming him and gave the public five possible names to choose from:

Kanvar meaning Young Prince

Kiran meaning Ray – Moonray (after his father)

Sabal meaning with Strength

Saubal meaning Mighty

Rahul means Capable, or in Arabic it means Traveller

Voting closed at the end of July and the winning name was ‘Kanvar’, which we think suits his regal majesty splendidly!

Wakeeta's 'teenage' tiger cubs - photo Kay Tiwari Nov 12

Wakeeta’s ‘teenage’ cubs – photo Kay Tiwari

Kanvar now roams freely round the park. His father, Shashi, and mother Wakeeta are all nearby and we get regular updates on their progress.  Here is an extract from the December 2013 diary:

“Pushpaj, along with his brother, Kanvar, still lives in Banbehi. It’s beginning to make his father, Shashi, nervous.  Shashi set off up the road, spraying several prominent trees and even scrap marking on a prominent tree, his territorial signposting. Shashi can ill afford to lose more ground and is letting his presence be felt to deter his now massive sons, Pushpaj and Kanvar, from any pretentions to steal any of his estate, as he once did to his famous father.”

Bengal Tiger - photo Bandhavgarh National Park

Bengal Tiger – photo Bandhavgarh National Park

You can find out more about how to support tiger conservation at Tiger Nation, an organisation that has developed “An ambitious online attempt to save the species using the power of people and social media.” – THE TIMES OF INDIA.

You can see some of these splendid animals on our Taj and Tigers’ Tour, which starts from Delhi and includes the timeless elegance of the Taj Mahal, the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur and the impressive Amber Fort. The highlight of this tour is a two nights’ stay at Tiger Den Resort at world-famous Ranthambore National Park, one of India’s Project Tiger reserves. Here you will have plenty of opportunities to see and photograph Bengal tigers on a variety of safari game drives.

International Tiger Day

International Tiger Day

 International Tiger Day is on July 29th each year.  Please give your support in any way you can so that our children and our children’s children can continue to share our world with these amazing creatures.

Zoe Dawes aka Quirky TravellerThis post was written by travel blogger Zoë Dawes aka The Quirky Traveller.  You can read her article on William Blake’s poem ‘The Tyger’ and International Tiger Day here.

Follow Zoë on Google+


4 thoughts on “Sponsoring a Bengal Tiger

  1. I had no idea that a father tiger will come under threat from his sons?! I’m not sure how to feel about this because it seems so disrespectful. Surely the motherly bond is there in the animal kingdom so what not the fatherly bond? If the son dethrones the Father will it then mate with it’s own mother?

    • Hi Imran – yes, it can seem very upsetting but it’s quite common in the animal kingdom for the son to usurp the father. Nature doesn’t usually allow animals to be attracted to their parents. This young tiger does seem more agressive than our adopted ‘son’ Kanvar!

  2. Pingback: Pushpraj, the Young Pretender; a Bengal tiger with attitude | Indus Experiences Blog

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