Published on March 18th, 20130
Tigers – The Story of How the Hunter became the Hunted
Also known as Felis Tigris, the tiger is the mightiest of all felines. It is known to be more cunning, greedy, and more aggressive than the lion, and has always suffered from a very poor reputation. Popular Social Science has taken a closer look at the tiger´s position in today´s society.
Its appearance is that of a typical feline, with its characteristic stripes. The largest males can be 13 feet (380 cm), with a weight of 449 lbs (250 kilos). The place of habitat determines the colors of its fur. In Bengal the tiger is somewhat darker, and in Siberia it is lighter with fewer stripes.
Contrary to popular belief there are no wild tigers in Africa. It lives solely on the Asian continent, though it covers an area larger than the whole of Europe. Its country of origin is Bengal, but is on the offensive and has conquered territory after territory throughout the years. It now covers India, China, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Russia, Korea, Burma, Sumatra, Java, and Bali.
The man eating tiger
Tigers can be divided into three categories: those who eat wild animals; those who eat cattle; and those who eat humans. The latter type usually starts with cattle, but then proceeds to go for humans. The reason is mainly one out of two. First, it can be female tigers collecting food for their offspring. Second, it can be old tigers that are looking for an easy prey. When the predator animal realizes just how vulnerable and slow humans are, it will attack without hesitation.
Examples of man eating tigers are plentiful. The Tigress from Benchipuria spread fear in the Indian region of Mysore around 1870. A total of 13 villages had to be abandoned, until an English hunter managed to get rid of the beast.
Turning the tables – Man hunting the tiger
For a trained hunter the tiger can prove quite a reward. Often the hunter receives a good sum of money for each animal he kills, and almost every part of the tiger’s body can be used by humans. For example, its fat is popular in India for the use as a medicine against cattle diseases.
It was previously possible to buy canned tiger meat from India, however this product has become increasingly rare due to regulations on tiger hunting. In Siberia the meat is reserved for tiger hunters. Due to its popularity and many uses, especially within the field of medicine, humans have proved to be the tigers worst enemy.
The tiger has become classified as an endangered species, the main reasons being hunting and destruction of its natural habitat. There are only an estimated 3000 tigers left apart from those that are in captivity. In the early 20th century there were as many as 100,000.
In many areas of the world today the tiger suffers from the threat of extinction. As a result, many state that tiger hunting for food or medicine purposes should be illegal, and that hunting should be limited only to tigers that pose a direct threat to humans.
*White tiger photo by Eric Kilby