Bengali, a 25-year-old Bengal tiger living in Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary in Texas, United States, has lived way past a tiger’s usual lifespan of 10-15 years. Now, the Guinness World Records has confirmed that the roaring animal, who is set to celebrate her 26th birthday on August 31 this year, is the oldest living tiger in captivity.
Mentioning that tigers typically live 15-20 years in captivity, the sanctuary told Guinness World Records, “Our oldest resident, Bengali, has more than surpassed these expectations with her current age!" Aged 25 years and 319 days (at the time of confirmation by GWR), the tiger came to the sanctuary in 2000. As per the staff of the sanctuary recollect, Bengali was shy in the beginning and would hide from whoever came to visit her. Gradually, she adjusted to her new home and now she can be found lazing around in her yard area and interacting with the visitors of the sanctuary as well.
Bengali, unlike other wild tigers, does not have to worry about her next meal as staff of the sanctuary take care of her. Usually, she eats several times a day, bathes, and takes long naps in shady spots. Interestingly, her favourite food is blood popsicles. The tigress, which has never given birth, has spent more than two decades in the Texas sanctuary.
The staff of the sanctuary have fond memories of Bengali. They remember when they celebrated her 21st birthday. Other than throwing a party, they got her an empty keg which the tiger played with, pouncing and lying on it for the rest of her birthday.
Bengali’s recognition as the oldest tiger brings joy to her caretakers. Bengali belongs to a subspecies of tigers that is native to the Indian subcontinent and considered endangered. Before Bengali, India’s 26-year-old Guddu was believed to be the oldest living tiger in captivity. However, Guddu died in 2014.