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Save the Tiger

Updated on August 3, 2016
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Souvik is a software professional with avid interests in writing, music and wildlife. His writing style is simple yet captivating.

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The Royal Bengal Tiger

Source

Misconceptions about Tigers!

TIGERS- The name itself sounds synonymous with dread, fear, awe and charisma! One of nature's magnificent species, this cat is capable of being termed as the ultimate survivor of times.

Yet! sadly but true, that the number of this magnificent species is dwindling at a rate so fast that even before the human race could discover this awesome mammal, they would well be on their way to a 'Natural History' museum.

It is the general callousness, superstition and ruthless ego of the human race which has caused the likes of tigers and many similar species to start disappearing from the face of the earth at an alarming rate. Be it poaching for cash or exterminating them for medicinal values, these poor beasts have been at the receiving end of the human race for quite sometime now.

Having spent quite a considerable time in the jungles of India( Of course! India being my home), I have been fortunate enough to have got a glimpse of this awesome cat at some precarious close ranges. And every-time I see them, my respect and admiration for them only grows.

Tigers are predominantly solitary creatures with the exception of the mating season and the period when the tigress devotedly takes care of her young. Tigers in India predominantly hunt Deers, Boars, small mammals and birds.

Tigers do not hunt Humans! India has been associated with many cases of man-eating tigers and leopards and not one case has ever been documented where in a tiger or a leopard has earned a human victim for sheer joy. A tiger becomes a man-eater only due to one of the following reasons:

  1. When a tiger has been severely wounded( Again due to the inexperience of some over-zealous hunter or due to a territorial dispute with one of its own kind): The tigers jaws and forelegs are formidable parts when it comes to hunting. Any injury to them makes the tiger ineffective to hunt their natural prey. As a result, out of sheer desperation and to fulfill their hunger, they turn to humans!
  2. When a tiger has been injured in a fight with a porcupine: Surprisingly, tigers being the intelligent animals they are, they have a unique fascination when it comes to porcupines.Porcupines have quills or pointed thorns all across their body and can use them as a formidable weapon against any enemy when attacked. Hence, when a tiger takes a chance with it, more often than not it ends up being showered with the quills on its vulnerable parts, as a result of which, the tiger becomes in-adept at hunting its natural prey.
  3. When a tiger takes a liking to the taste of human flesh: In many cases in India, when there were pandemonium epidemics sweeping the country in the earlier part of the 20th century, thousands of human bodies( who were the victims of the epidemics)- mostly in the hilly and mountainous regions- were thrown from the ravines or left in huge numbers unattended to. The reason for this are that most of the victims of the epidemics were poor villagers residing at places which for most part of the year remained inaccessible due to extreme geographical and weather conditions. As a result, when there was loss of human life in alarming numbers, the best way for the poor villagers to dispose of the bodies were by employing the above mentioned methods. Having found free food in huge supply, the tigers and the leopards of the jungles took a liking to the human flesh and very soon realized that humans were a far easier prey to hunt for than the other mammals.

The cubs of any man-eating Tigers do not become man-eaters by themselves. One word of caution though: Tigers lose complete fear of humans once they are established man-eaters. As a result they hunt both during the day and night. Whereas Leopards no matter how dreaded a man-eater they become, their inherent fear of the human race remains, thus hunting only at night.

But to judge every tiger as a man-eater is like dubbing every human being as a branded criminal. Yes! There have been occasional occurrences when a tiger has turned into a man-eater but the number of such cases over the centuries can be counted by hand. Tigers detest human presence and will unceremoniously move away once they detect them. Tigers have practically no sense of smell but are more than compensated for by their acute eye-sight and hearing.

Tigers are nature's one of perfect hunters and we as humans have no right whatsoever to decide their fate. We, as responsible citizens of this planet, should make sure that the animals who have been on this land a long before we appeared, co-exist in perfect harmony.

A mere 2500 Tigers are left in the wild in India today. And the time has come when some concrete campaigns and efforts need to be channelized or else the day is not far when India and the world would lose one of her finest fauna for ever!!!


Create Awareness and How?

The biggest irony in today's conservation efforts either by the government or the NGO's (Non-Profit organisations) lies in the fact that neither are emphasizing or creating awareness among the population that lives along the fringes or inside the territory of the Tigers.

It should be kept in mind that the first contact the Tigers have with humans and which leads to potential fatal encounters are with those living in or alongside the Jungles. Most often than not the lure of easy and fast money combined with ignorance leads these jungle dwellers to annihilate the Tigers. Hence, creating awareness among these people is of paramount importance. Educating them about the importance of Tigers and their role in maintaining a healthy ecological balance of the jungle can produce astounding results in changing the destructive mind-set of the people.

As for us, city dwellers- lighting candles and organizing protest marches isn't enough! The government time and again asks for voluntary services from citizens towards Tiger conservation programs. All we need to do is spare a little time and engage ourselves directly in the field activities. The field activity could be participation in the Tiger census program, educating the tribals living in the jungles about the importance of the Tigers or organizing campaigns in schools, colleges and corporate offices towards active participation by citizens.

The Tiger desperately needs our help and it's not just up to the government but also us to make sure that this magnificent species survives the extinction scare!


An animation video on Tiger conservation!

The Pride of the Jungle!

The Majestic couple!
The Majestic couple! | Source
A tigress with her cub!
A tigress with her cub! | Source
Prowling through the water
Prowling through the water | Source
A group at Jim Corbett national Park
A group at Jim Corbett national Park | Source
Poaching of Animals including Tigers!
Poaching of Animals including Tigers! | Source
The Pride of the Ice- A Siberian Tiger!
The Pride of the Ice- A Siberian Tiger! | Source

A nice documentary on Tigers in India!

Majestic wild tigers!

The Tiger desperately needs our help and it's not just up to the government but also us to make sure that this magnificent species survives the extinction scare!

Which is the most graceful animal of the ones listed below?

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    • souvikm16 profile imageAUTHOR

      Souvik Mukherjee 

      9 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Thanks rambo! Its people like you who are gonna make the difference:)

    • rambo87 profile image

      rambo87 

      9 years ago

      After reading this hub I have now pledged my support, tigers are wondeful creatures and should be admired not destroyed!

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