Now that’s some serious sibling rivalry.
Two Bengal tiger sisters have been battling over turf in India’s Ranthambore National Park since they were old enough to stake out their own territory. And according to park rangers, a recent video of the sisters, Riddhi and Siddhi, is only the latest skirmish.
It won’t be the last vicious battle between the animals, either, the rangers predict.
In 1972, the Bengal tiger became the national animal of India. Some also call it the royal tiger for its association with the ancient gods that area locals used to worship.
Bengal Tigers Are Highly Territorial
Native to India and Bangladesh, Bengal tigers are among the most powerful apex predators. They hunt at night, and tend to go after mammals like buffalo, deer and pigs, according to AustraliaZoo.com.
The tigers are instinctually solitary in the wild. So they get very territorial and do not share ground easily with other tigers.
Interestingly, the striped coat of a Bengal tiger is like a human fingerprint. It’s unique to each individual (and very useful for camouflage, to boot).
But the Bengal tiger’s striped coat hasn’t protected it from human poachers, who have joined forces with habitat destruction to drive the tiger onto the endangered species list. There are less than 2,500 of the majestic tigers left in the wild.
Massive Cats Threatened by Poachers, Chinese Medicine
Unfortunately, some tiger subspecies have been hunted into extinction for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine, National Geographic reports. There used to be eight subspecies, but now only five remain. All are at risk.
Bengal tigers are the most common subspecies of tiger. The tigers only live eight to 10 years in the wild. They spend the first two to three years of their lives with their mothers, after which point they can hunt on their own.
Healthy tigers, which can eat as much as 60 pounds of meat per night, usually avoid humans. Occasionally, sick tigers which cannot hunt normally or habitat-threatened tigers whose prey has vanished will go after humans.
Female tigers typically have litters of two to seven cubs. Like most Bengal tigers, those two sisters, Riddhi and Siddhi, were raised by their mother without help from the male who sired them.
Tigers are known for aggressively scent-marking their territories to keep other tigers away from their prey. They typically hide and creep until they are close enough to pounce.