We all know Africa is the best destination to experience wildlife but unlike Africa, the subcontinent of India offers traditional safari destinations. It offers a great variety of wildlife, some of which is exclusive only to the Indian subcontinent and its national parks and reserves. So here is a list of the top 10 Indian animals in the world,
1. BENGAL TIGER
Being the national animal of India, no wonder this animal tops our list. It is the second largest species of the wildcat after the Siberian Tiger and in addition, it is the most numerous subspecies of tiger in the world today. These tigers are well-built and muscular as well and they have the skill and capacity to hunt and kill animals twice their size. They have strong jaws to rip out the flesh of their prey and one single, the powerful bite is enough to kill its victim. Apart from the dense forests, the best place to see Bengal Tigers is the Kanha National Park. It is one of the most famous and endangered Indian animals in the world.
2. ONE-HORNED RHINO
The one-horned rhino is second when it comes to size beaten only by the white rhinoceros. They have an ashy gray, hairless skin but what is most notable about it is the fact that it has one horn instead of two. These Indian animals can be particularly found in the foothills of Himalayas and as these animals are semi-aquatic they prefer to stay in swamps and riversides. 100 years ago, there were only around 12 of these rhinos in the Kaziranga Wildlife sanctuary. But now, there are over 1500 of them which is a great conservation success story.
3. SNOW LEOPARD
One of the toughest animals in the world, Snow leopards are found at very high altitudes of around 9,800 to 15,000 feet. Among all the big cats it is found that the snow leopards are least aggressive to humans and there has not even been one reported case of snow leopards attacking humans. They can jump up to 15 meters and mainly use their tail to balance their body. These leopards can be found in the Hemis National Park, which is a high altitude reserve in Ladakh.
4. INDIAN ELEPHANT
This elephant is the national heritage animal of India. The Indian Elephant is the largest among its subspecies but they are wild animals and do not attack any other animals unless it is provoked. They are very kind at heart, playful and enjoy and cry as well just like us humans. Their population is considered to be around 25,000 but unfortunately, it is currently decreasing year by year due to human encroachment, poaching for tusks and so on and it is currently regarded as an endangered species.
5. ASIATIC LION
The only place you can find the Asiatic lions is in the Gir forests of Gujarat, India. There is no other place in the world you can find a large population of these wild cats. These lions are much smaller when compared to the African lions and have smaller manes too. Lions are the only wild cats that live in a group called pride, nevertheless, this is not same with Asiatic lions as the males are solitary and prefer to stay alone except during the mating season.
This graceful and chic spotted deer is seen all over the Indian subcontinent and it is a pleasure to see them graze and bound through the national parks of India. They are lightly-built species and they have charming antlers. The males have antlers up to even one meter in length. They live in herds of about 10-30 animals and mostly feed on grass. They have many predators including tigers, leopards, pythons, jackals among others. This elegant deer can be found in the Kanha National park.
7. SLOTH BEAR
Shaggy, chalky and unkempt, the sloth bears find their home majorly in South Asia. They are a medium-sized bear and interestingly, they can survive in many habitats be it thorn scrubs, grasslands or even dense forests, they will survive wherever they can find food on a regular basis. It is estimated that around 10,000 to 25,000 sloth bears remain, dispersed in the Indian subcontinent. They have extremely large tongues, a keen sense of smell and they are excellent climbers.
8. ASIATIC LEOPARD
Asiatic leopards are elusive and prefer to stay alone instead of groups and they can be found in the rocky terrains of India. They are more slender than the other leopards in its family and have longer legs. Their main asset is stealth. They wait for their prey to come near them and then pounce on it before it can even realize what is going on. The best place to find Asiatic leopards in India is Jawai. In and around this region, it is even believed that these leopards are the sacred guardians of the local ancient temples!
Image Source: Wikimedia
9. NILGAI OR BLUE BULL
The Nilgai or the blue bull is the largest antelope in all of Asia and it is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. The name Nilgai is made from the worlds blue and cow. They generally avoid dense forests and prefer to live around thorny shrubs and small trees. When chased by their predators, they have the capacity to run at a speed of around 30mph. The Nilgai mainly base their diet on woody plants supplemented by agricultural crops.
How can the national bird of India not make the top 10 list! They are predominant in the Indian subcontinent and some parts of Sri Lanka. Its gorgeous tail makes up 60% of its total body length. In spite of its big body size, the peacocks can fly. During the mating season, they unleash their breathtakingly beautiful tails to attract the opposite sex it is a stunning sight to witness. It is one of the most colorful birds in the world.
So, these are the 10 Indian animals in the world.