The Big Cats of India
Felidae is the biological family of cats and member of this family is called Felid. There are five species of big cats found in India. The big cats of India are:
- Asiatic lion
- Bengal tiger
- Snow Leopard (found in Himalayas)
- Clouded Leopard (found in Himalayan foothills, China)
- Indian Leopard
In 1816, Lorenz Oken named Panthera genus with the Felidae family and placed all the spotted cats in this group. The Panthera genus includes:
- Tiger – Panthera Tigris
- There are 6 sub-species of Tiger.
- Out of them, Bengal Tiger is found in India
- Lion – Panther Leo
- Jaguar – Panthera Onca
- Leopard – Panthera Pardus
- Snow Leopard – Panthera Unca
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) are found only in Africa, and in Iran (only about 50 asiatic Cheetah left in Iran). Asiatic cheetah became extinct in India in the 1950s. Three of the last Asiatic cheetahs recorded from India were shot down in 1947, by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Koriya. Government of India is working towards reintroduction of Cheetah in India.