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India's Animal World

Updated on February 13, 2013

We must learn to live together, you and us – we need to co-exist. Each of us has a part to play in Nature’s delicate web of balance – why do we upset things so? Life should be about what we need, not what we want. You can teach us that – every single one of you from the animal kingdom. Do we listen? Do we even want to listen? Our ears are deaf, our eyes blind, our hearts shut tight. The only way we know is the way of wanting – more and more. And so we plunder your habitat, tear the skins off your backs ….and slowly relegate you to history books. Will all we have left be just pictures of you?

The Indian Tiger

They say there are less then 3000 tigers left in the world. This regal, proud cat can grow to around ten feet in length and it is found in the tropical jungles of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. With Project Tiger being launched a few years ago, there has been some degree of success in stopping the carnage by poachers and hunters. William Blake would probably turn in his grave to know that there aren’t too many tigers left in the wild to burn brightly in the forest of the night.

The Indian Elephant

Greyer than its African cousin, with smaller ears and less hairy, the Indian elephant, which is a sub-species of the Asian elephant, has been captured and used as a beast of burden for years. Many Indian temples own tame elephants and they are dressed to the hilt whenever there is a festival. Today, there are barely 30,000 left and there are programmes in place to try and grow that number – a hard task when they need large areas to roam and progress means roads and railroads cutting into their territory.

The Indian Lion

Smaller than the African lion, today, these lions can only be found in a lion sanctuary in western India. From a hundred lions, the population has gone up to two hundred over a few decades thanks to very stringent measures taken to prevent hunters from going after these kingly creatures for their skin.

The Indian Sloth Bear

For too long, roadside entertainers were allowed to make money with their dancing bears. Not any more – there are laws that come down quite hard on those who practice this and this has resulted in the numbers slowly increasing.

The Indian Mongoose

In a land of cobras, you need the mongoose to balance the deadly snake population. Unfortunately, this animal is being driven from its natural habitat with the onslaught of civilization.

The Spotted Deer

This animal is a favourite as food for the big cats and they are also hunted by men for sport and food. However, the game sanctuaries today have a very large population. It’s the most common deer in India and its coat is a beautiful brown punctuated with white spots.

The Indian Blackbuck

They could be big cat food but men are their worst enemies. The blackbuck has long been hunted for its meat and its skin. Today, there are sanctuaries to make sure their numbers go up.

The Indian Rhino

It’s got one horn – and that’s probably the most distinctive way it is different from the African rhino. They have been poached for years for their horn which is prized in Oriental medicine. Their natural habitat has also been giving way to towns and cities and they have been confined to a very small area today, mainly in sanctuaries. This has seen an increase in their numbers, up from a few years ago when they were almost extinct.

The Indian Musk Deer

High up in the Himalayas, for years, poachers caught and butchered the musk deer for its musk – which is highly valued globally for its use in perfumes. Today, there are probably a few hundred left. These are very shy animals and they hate the heat. So they come out very early in the morning and then lie in the shade for the rest of the day.

The Indian Camel

The Indian camel has only one hump and it can be found in the deserts of Rajasthan. Almost all of the camel population has been tamed in order to carry people and provisions across the Thar desert. Camels usually walk in single file, in the wild as well as in captivity.

The Indian Mouse Deer

This slender, small animal is found in the tropical forests of South India. The body is a bit stocky and it is a very shy animal, almost impossible to see in the grass and greenery because it has a coat which is olive with white speckled spots. It runs off into the thickly wooded areas at the least sound.

The Indian Wild Boar

Hunted for sport and for its meat for years, the number of species of wild boar in India has come down from seven to one. Most of them are in the sanctuaries today but they are known to attack the crops of farmers who live in the peripheral villages.

The Indian Langur

There are three types of langurs found in India – the first is the typical one that you can see in most parts of the country. It has a grey body with a black face which is covered by a tuft. In the wild, they live among the mangroves or in wooded areas.

The Golden langur is found near the Himalayas and it has a black face too with a golden body. The hill tribes consider it a sacred animal.

The Hanuman langur is also called the Grey langur and it has fifteen sub-species. Named after the Hindu god called Hanuman, these monkeys in the wild tend to act as lookouts for the spotted deer, warning them when danger approaches.

Thank you Cris A for challenging me to write this hub!


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    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India

      Thanks so much!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Good text, photo and presentation. Thank you for sharing your knowledge here.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

      Hi Oliversmum - yes, makes me mad too! Thank you so much for reading!

    • oliversmum profile image

      oliversmum 5 years ago from australia

      Shalini Kagal Hi. What an absolutely beautiful hub on all these magnificent animals.

      When will we ever learn to live in harmony with all creatures big and small, and stop destroying there homes. It does make me mad.

      You are so very lucky to have so many great animals.

      The photographs are just magnificent.

      Thanks so much for sharing with us.Voted up. ")")

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

      Glad you liked it, danger jogi.

    • profile image

      danger jogi 6 years ago

      it was brilliant I like it very much and I'm impressed

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Thanks for the encouragement. Jason!

    • profile image

      JASON NICHOLS 7 years ago


    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Thanks bukan!

    • bukan profile image

      Bukan 7 years ago from India, Kolkata

      Great update! Keep it up Shalini.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hi BkCreative - thanks for reading. Yes, isn't it sad how our wants are taking over world?

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Magnificent! And at the very beginning truer words were never spoken - we are killing and running amok to get 'what we want - not what we need.' And none of it do we really need. There was one couple bragging about how they recycle all their soda bottles. But who needs soda?

      Thanks for the beautiful photos. Our purpose is to take care of all the beautiful creatures on earth as they play an important role. Seems like we are the problem.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Thank you Pearldiver - appreciate your coming by and reading!

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 8 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Hi Shalini. What a brilliant hub and great subjects who lucky are still able to pose for a camera shot rather than a bullet. Excellent, thanks for sharing the quality of your work and passion. Take care.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Thank you lyla - I've been slow with the birds - thanks for reminding me! :)

    • lyla profile image

      lyla 8 years ago from India

      Wonderful hub Shalini..Oh no..hope we dont have just the pictures of these majestic animals.But then,it is indeed a chilling possibility as we are not doing enough!Looking forward to your bird hub..I just love birds! :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Hi Jenny-Anne. Come to think of it, you're so right! That's what their ears are like! Thanks for coming by and reading.

    • profile image

      Jenny-Anne 8 years ago

      Hi Shalini, nice hub! It's good to see that the numbers of some of these animals are increasing. I've heard that the Indian elephants' ears are the same shape as India and the African elephants' ears are shaped like Africa:)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      The tiger really is a magnificent creature Taichichuan. It's sad that there are so few of them left! Thanks for coming by and reading.

    • Taichichuan profile image

      Taichichuan 8 years ago

      I was a kid the first time I heard about the musk deer. It was my stepfather's stories. He was in Calcutta during the 2ndWW with the free French training with the British Army. I remember he has told me when God has created the tiger he was in a peculiar good mood.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      heyyyyy! thanks for coming by sweetie - the l'il one looks soooo sweet!

    • Sakari profile image

      Sakari 8 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      I can't believe I didn't see this! Love this Hub, Shalini. =) Scrape that, I love all your hubs :D

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Thanks for reading and commenting swathin2.

    • swathin2 profile image

      swathin2 8 years ago

      very nice one. i cannot explain in words. you made people regather the different kinds of animals that are present in India.

      nice to see some Indian here. i think you did a lot of paper work before publishing this hub. became a fan of you with this

      feel free to comment me back on my hubs

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Thanks Tony - I love the big cats too and it breaks my heart to see them cooped up in zoos!

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      Shalini , thank you for the pictures and commentary on all of these majestic animals . I too am concerned about wildlife globally . And I have always been a fan of the big cats ! Just a great read .

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Trish - glad you liked it :) Actually, it's quite cold up there in the Himalayas where they are found - but even a little bit of heat from the winter sun seems to be more than they can bear! Yes, birds coming up next!

      Jaspal - thanks so much - I loved doing it too!

    • Jaspal profile image

      Jaspal 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub Shalini, very well written .... and the accompanying pictures are super! Loved the pug marks. :)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 8 years ago

      Hi Shalini,

      Another wonderful hub. The pictures are lovely. I especially wonder why the poor musk deer was destined to live in such heat, when they hate it? It seems so unfair, but I guess it's the way God intended it.

      A very informative hub, and I thank you for sharing. I agree with Sally, I would love to see one on the birds :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Thanks for reading Aya - I did think of mentioning Rikki Tikki Tavi :)

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

      Shalini, thanks for this nice survey of animals in India. I liked the pictures and paw prints. Most of what I know about animals in India comes from one of my favorite authors: Kipling.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Thank you Amanda! Yes, many people don't realise that India has quite a few animals like the ones in Africa. It's sad to think that unless we do something drastic, our grandchildren could very well not see these magnificent creatures!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Hi Shalini. What a great hub! I had no idea that some of these animals could be found in India (like the Rhino) and some of them I had never even heard of (like the mouse-deer). The photos are great, and I like the paw print motif. It's too bad that human greed and stupidity has had such a devastating effect on the population of these animals. Mankind has a lot to answer for!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Thank you Christoph - I only wish I did more!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      Shalini: I share your concern for the worlds wildlife most emphatically! What a marvelous article this is, and the pictures and the way you have presented them is stellar!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Sally - great to see you as always - thank you for reading and for giving me ideas for future hubs :)

      Cygstarz - I'm glad you did - thanks for coming by.

      PM - he has, hasn't he? thanks for reading!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      My my, Cris has been busy! Fabulous hub. I loved it. The natural world is a great teacher, if only we listen.

    • Cygstarz profile image

      Cygstarz 8 years ago from Maryland

      Great HUB! I love I really enjoyed it.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I did not know there was an Indian lion or an Indian camel. We Americans can be so ignorant of things outside our borders. Yes, India's bird world must be next. And then the Indian world of fish?

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Hey quicksand - where've you been? missed you - thanks for reading. You have a great weekend too!

      FP - hehe - with friends to challenge me and send me fodder for hubs like you do, it comes easy - thanks for reading!

      Pete - you're so right - though killing through fear or to protect is still a primal need, isn't it? Greed isn't - and it's the tragedy that comes in its wake that is hard to take!

      K - you've put it so well there - thanks!

    • profile image

      Kiruba harris 8 years ago

      That was very instructive reading. We often refer to bad behaviour as 'animal' and I wonder if instead we should call it human since it is humans who destroy and kill for nothing.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 8 years ago

      We are not doing anything that we haven't always done when it comes to animals. We also aren't doing anything any other animal wouldn't do. Any animal would eliminate a dangerous preditor that might harm its young and any preditor would kill and kill till it got its fill.

      We are just too good at it. The reason we're to good at it should be the same reason we should be smart enough not to wipe these creatures out. Our intellect should tell us that the world needs balance and all creatures matter. Unfortunately humans also developed another trait that animals don't have and that is greed. Greed for the value of the aminal or its parts or greed for the animals habitat. We need to put the greedy in cages and let the animals run free.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      When Shal rises to the challenge she does it with style, huh? :)

      Visually very appealing and most informative...well done!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 8 years ago

      Hi Shal, Thanks for this very informative hub. I did not know about the Indian rhino. I see you have a great variety of animal life over there in India. I envy you ... er ... on second thoughts I prefer human company anyday!

      Have a great day and follow it up with a great weekend too. :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Cris - thank you for daring me to do this :D

      I enjoyed it and realised I don't do enough to be proactive in this area. Now you've got me going - so it has to be Indian birds next I guess! Thanks Cris - for inspiring so many of us here!

      AIDY - appreciate you coming by - you know I love your hubs too!

      Candie - always a pleasure to see you come by - thanks!

      Sabu - as always, thanks so much for reading!

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      Very nice Shalini. Great reading

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I agree with Cris, you did these beautiful creatures proud! Future generations need to see these!

    • profile image

      Am I dead, yet? 8 years ago

      Ah Shalini!

      I see that Cris got to you too! I only have to second Cris's comment, India is such an exotic place, spices, culture, etc. My friend, beautiful hub! I want you to know that I enjoy reading your work. I want you to know I have taken some of your suggestions and put them to work for me. It would seem I am a little better for it.

      Thank you, Shalini. I really enjoyed the pictures and the research that accompanied each one.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines


      First off, I think you did more than great on this one! I can feel the pride and compassion you have for the subject(s) of this hub. India, to me, is one fascinating country. It's rich in history and grandeur. From the exotic to the mystic to the modern. And it's so vast that I envy your having snow! The only place in Southeast Asia (I may be wrong). Anyway, these are beautiful creatures, great and small. Thanks for the info. Great hub! Great layout! I'm glad I "dared" you into doing something like this. :D

      Btw, I just saw a docu about the Indian macaques - naughty creatures!