Bengal tiger cubs cuddle up to mum in adorable shots
The Bengal tiger is a Panthera tigris tigris population in the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN List since 2008, and was estimated at comprising fewer than 2,500 individuals by 2011.
It is threatened by poaching, loss and fragmentation of habitat. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within its range is considered large enough to support an effective population of more than 250 adult individuals. India’s tiger population was estimated at 1,706–1,909 individuals in 2010. By 2014, the population had reputedly increased to an estimated 2,226 individuals. Around 440 tigers are estimated in Bangladesh, 163–253 tigers in Nepal and 103 tigers in Bhutan.
The tiger is estimated to be present in the Indian subcontinent since the Late Pleistocene, for about 12,000 to 16,500 years.
The Bengal tiger ranks among the biggest wild cats alive today. It is considered to belong to the world’s charismatic megafauna. It is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. It is also known as the Royal Bengal tiger.
These adorable cubs went from having their teeth bared as they headed off in pursuit of their dinner to snuggling up and posing for a purr-fect family paw-trait with mum Arrowhead, five, in the space of minutes.
Wildlife photographer Andy Rouse, 54, snapped the images at Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in India, where he devotes his time to the animals.
Andy said: “This is the first time anyone has seen these cubs so clearly.
“These are very very unique pictures of the first big adventure for a new family.
“Arrowhead appeared over a small hill with the two cubs walking shyly behind her – they were shy and nervous but they still had enough mischief to play a little.