National Symbols are undoubtedly very important for a country as they serve as identity of its people.
India has many National Symbols, such as 'peacock' is the national bird of India, 'lotus' is the national flower. Similarly 'Tiger', or 'Royal Bengal Tiger' is the national animal of india.
But it was not the one from the beginning. According to 'IndianAge.com', on this day, July 9, 1969, India accepted 'Royal Bengal Tiger' to be its National Animal as recommended by the indian Wildlife Board.
'Royal Bengal Tiger' is also known as majestic tiger and its scientific name is panthere tigris (Linnaeus).
Before Tiger, Lion, or Asiatic Lion was India's National Animal. There are claimed to be many reasons for this replacement. Firstly, tiger being fierce and courageous specie, it was considered perfect for representing Indian people. Secondly, its importance in Hindu Mythology was taken into account. But the most important reason was the threat of becoming the specie extinct in India. So, the 'Project Tiger' was also launched.
Consequently, in a survey of 2014, there were recorded 2226 tigers in India.
Interestingly, India shares it with Bangladesh as it is also the National Animal of Bangladesh.