Gopal is a beautiful Bengal tiger who lives at Born Free’s tiger sanctuary in Bannerghatta National Park, southern India. Bannerghatta provides a natural forest habitat for rescued tigers in a section of the park closed to visitors.
Gopal unfortunately came into conflict with people when he was found to be preying on their livestock. At the risk of being killed, Gopal was captured by the Indian authorities. The authorities considered it too risky to release him back into the wild, so he was given safe haven at our sanctuary.
There are less than 4,000 tigers remaining in the wild. They are on the brink of extinction in many south east Asian countries as a result of habitat loss, poaching and persecution. As the human population grows and the tigers’ habitat reduces, human-tiger conflict becomes an increasing problem. We need to find ways to co-exist and prevent negative human-tiger interaction.
Tigers are also threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Tigers are poached for their skins which are often traded for ‘decorative’ use, and their body parts for use in so-called traditional Asian ‘medicines’.
Male tigers can measure around three metres in length, not including their tail, and weigh up to 300kg. With their striped coats providing excellent camouflage, they can be difficult to spot amongst the shadows of the trees. Gopal is no exception and likes to hide away in the cool forest shade. Each tiger enclosure at Bannerghatta offers a natural forest habitat and water pools, in which the tigers typically love to relax.
Gopal is provided with lots of environmental enrichments to enhance his surrounds and provide additional sensory stimulation. As well as naturally growing trees, Gopal has a viewing platform to climb on and survey his surroundings and a pool to cool down in. The Animal Care team also lay down scent trails for him to follow and investigate, and hide his food in the trees and bushes for him to find.
By adopting Gopal you will help to fund his lifetime care and help to care for other rescued tigers at Bannerghatta.