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National Animal

The Bengal Tiger

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

Mahatma Gandhi

Animals commonly seen in the wild

Marine fauna:

Whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, crocodiles, sea horses.


Hornbills, Indian pittas, cormorants, storks, rock-chats, jungle-babblers.

Land mammals:

Rhinoceros, Nilgiri tahr (ibex), blackbucks, tigers, lions, leopards, peacocks, monkeys.

Snakes and insects:

Cobras, mambas, pythons, kraits, crocodiles, turtles, Bengal monitors (large lizards), geckos, chameleons.

Common sights you will not like

In the city and
on the road

Cows (holy animals in India) wander the city, often skinny and surviving on garbage from the streets. As they eat, they ingest many plastic bags, which can eventually kill them. Bulls pulling carts are commonly used for transportation and carrying loads. In some areas, especially near slums, packs of stray hungry dogs wander the streets. They can be dangerous as a pack, otherwise usually inoffensive.

In the

Donkeys carry loads. Bullock carts are common in the villages for personal family use.

General animal welfare issues

Buffaloes and cows are used for agriculture in farming, compost-churning and for producing milk. It is not rare for a farmer to possess a cow and keep it tied up in his yard.

Goats in packs wander the roads. They usually belong to someone, though there is often no one seen watching over them.

Hunting or poaching:

India is losing its majestic wild animals due to hunting and poaching. Poaching of animals like tigers, elephants, rhinos, leopards, snakes, sloth bears, and turtles, for their ivory, horn, teeth, skin and bone. There are a number of wild animals poached for sale on the international markets. Due to heavy hunting for meat and the above, many of the wild birds and animals are on the verge of extinction.

Animal fights:

Are unfortunately quite common: Cockfights, Bulbul fights (passerine songbirds) Jallikattu (a kind of rodeo) Races: pigeons, horses, buffaloes, camels Animals chained and forced to dance: bears, cobras, monkeys.

Main organization for animal rescue and sheltering:


Sanctuaries to visit or volunteer:

Bandhavgarh National Park Sunderbans National Park Periyar Wildlife sanctuary Gir National Park, Govind Wildlife sanctuary

We have not included the treatment of animals in the meat/fur/leather industries, zoos or circuses, animal testing as it unfortunately still happens in most countries.

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