Killer instincts of a tigers
India has around 1700 tigers residing in different parts of the country. Due to the killer instincts of a tiger, they are often portrayed as scary maneaters. As a statistical fact, tigers have killed the maximum number of humans than other member of the cat family like lions or leopards. It is true that Tigers are carnivores, which is a good reason for them to feed on humans. However, their natural diet doesn’t include Homo sapiens. Now the question that arises is, why would they go against their nature and natural diet, only to be called ‘The Hunter’?
There are probably various theories and reasons as to why a tiger turns into a man-eater. Although, one of the main reasons is because of the loss of their natural habitat. Due to an increase in the human settlement the natural forest has reduced. Thus, tigers have no other options than to invade villages and hunt people. Maybe, it is a way for them to react against human actions. After injury or wounds and due to aging, it turns towards humans. During this time, tigers become incapable of chasing and hunting their natural prey due to their decreased physical agility. Humans become easy targets for a wounded tiger, as they are comparatively easy to chase and catch.
Every tiger has its own story, like any other human. The female tiger of Champawat district which killed around 436 humans had broken canines thus the killer instincts of a tiger diverted her to kill humans and not the meat that she would prefer. Most cases of a tiger attack on humans are due to mistaken as their natural prey. Hence, it becomes an easy target. After natural calamities, the human corpses which are not buried become a reason for tigers developing the taste of human flesh. This trend has mostly recorded in the Sunderbans region.
The concerned forest authorities or the wildlife conservation authorities take appropriate measures to catch the man-eating tiger. However whether to kill the man-eating tiger or capture it in a cage, has always been an issue of debate. It is easy to kill a tiger with a gunshot, rather than tranquilizing it. The feeding and raising of a captive tiger are also rather expensive. These may be easy options for the authorities but does this give us the right to decide whether a tiger should live or not?
After all, it is as much a part of the natural environment as humans and helps maintain the balance of nature.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered.
Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park.
Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here’s a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger.