Killer Tigers of India

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Human beings are not the natural prey of tiger, and it is only when tigers have been incapacitated through wounds or old age that, in order to live, they are compelled to take a diet of human flesh.

Corbett (1944:vii)

As highlighted in a previous post, man-eating tigers remain an issue in contemporary India:

A tiger usually makes one large kill every week. For India’s 1,700-odd tigers, that adds up to more than 85,000 kills in a year.

If humans were part of a tiger’s natural diet, and since there are people everywhere in India, a good number of these 85,000 kills would be humans.

The truth is, less than 85 people are killed or injured – accidentally or otherwise – in a year by tigers here. Many times more die of snakebites or rabies.

Yet, the tiger remains the most feared killing machine in public perception.

People rarely discriminate between accidental and deliberate killings. And every time there is an attack, the media jump the gun.

Under the law, the heads of the state wildlife departments can declare a tiger a man-eater and permit its killing.

BBC, 2014

For more, see: India’s Illegal Tiger Trade and Man-Eaters of Kumaon

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Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

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