The Transitioning hunter, during their formative years, tigers depend on their mothers for survival and preying. After 17-24 months, they take a step forward. Young tigers begin to roam around freely and search for their prey, to feed themselves. Males weigh thirty pounds more than females and are more capable and thus travel further distances than their female counterparts. Until the young ones gain enough strength to build their territory away from their mother’s homes, they settle only marginally away and wait until about 5 years of age, by which time they develop their muscles. Females take a little longer to establish their territory.
A male lives marginally in the territory of another male until he feels strong enough to challenge him and overtake his territory. To avoid any challenge, the male will look for a place uninhabited by any other males. Young tigers mark their territories by leaving behind bodily secretions and claw marks as trails. This acts as their marker of identity. Scent markings of this manner allow other tigers to pick up the information of another’s identity.
Male tigers are more intolerant of other males in their territories than females are of other females. Tigers, in general, are not competitive or territorial. Their interpersonal relationships are quite complex; sometimes competing with each other and sometimes sharing their procures. Males exert their superiority over others by intimidating, rather than getting violent. Several incidents showed the subordinate tiger accepting defeat by rolling on his back and showing its belly in a submissive posture. Once the tiger establishes its dominance in an area, he may tolerate a subordinate within his range, as long as they do not live in close quarters. The most aggressive disputes between two males occur when a female is in oestrus and usually the fight ends when either one of the males loses their life and not before that.
Young tigers are agile and in search to mark their own territories. They fight if they have to, in order to gain their dominance. And they became a transitioning hunter. One might say they are not all that different from a man in behavior.
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.