The vast continent of Asia houses many different countries, each with its unique demography, culture, tradition, etc. The national animal is a symbol used by these countries to represent a unifying image of the nation in front of the world. The choice of national animals is usually very carefully made and is based on one of more aspects associated with the country like its ecology, tradition, culture, mythology, etc.
National Animals: The Pride of the Nation
In some parts of Asia, the country itself is divided into many different cultural groups and these countries have multiple national animals. The best example of this is India. India has a rich biodiversity with an abundance of unique flora and fauna. As a result, it is no surprise that a number of animals represent the country. The Bengal Tiger is undoubtedly the national animal of the country. The tiger represents power, courage, and the majestic nature of the country. The Bengal tiger is the keystone species of Indian forests and occurs in protected forests throughout the country. The Indian elephant, an animal which has played a significant role in Indian history, religion, culture, is also a beloved animal in the nation. Thus, it has been declared as the National Heritage Animal of India. India even has its national reptile, the awe-inspiring King Cobra and a national bird, the exquisitely beautiful peacock. The graceful Ganges river dolphin has been declared as the national aquatic animal of the nation. India's neighbor, Bangladesh shares the national animal, the Bengal tiger with India. The magpie robin and the Ilish are the national bird and fish of the country, respectively. The endemic species of some countries are also the country's pride and hence are represented as the national animal of the country. For example, the Malayan tiger is the national animal of Malaysia The Korean magpie of Korea and the Sri Lankan jungle-fowl of Sri Lanka both enjoy the same position in their country of residence. Mythology plays a massive role in Asian culture and as a result, a large number of national animals in Asia are from myths and legends. For example, the Chollima, which is a mythological creature, is the national animal of North Korea. This animal was chosen because of its presence in the country's mythology and due to the strength that it portrays. The gray wolf of Turkey, the Druk of Bhutan and the Arabian Onyx of Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are all animals that play a significant role in mythology and folk law and thus enjoy the privilege of being national animals.
Unique Animals, Unique Nation
National animals are unique to their nation, especially in the case in Asia since the continent is so diverse when it comes to people and ecology. These animals, as a result, allow people from the outside to gauge the country's natural wealth, culture, and other noteworthy characteristics. Thus, the national animals are a great source of pride and inspiration to the people of the nation.