Tiger tales- A follow up
This is a run through of the earlier tiger blogs posted a few days back by our team at Karmakerala to express the anguish , concern and the frustration at the way things were shaping up in the Tiger conservation front. India has been the home of this majestic animal since time immemorial when these animals always coexisted with the humans, where neither the man or the tiger felt threatened. In those days, a strong respect and fear existed between the man and the beast, which prevented man from venturing into the tiger territory in the wild and vice versa.
However, as man became more ‘progressive’, he got access to some of the most lethal weapons, which unfortunately were put to use for poaching- Killing animals for sheer pleasure.:( The kings and the nobles had a passion to deck up the walls with trophies of the slain animals and their palace floors with tiger skin carpets! As time passed by, things got only worse and now these hapless creatures are being slaughtered for their body parts including claw, nails and teeth, which are widely used in Chinese medicine and are thought to have aphrodisiac properties ( No scientific proof is available to back this claim, which could be pointers to the fact that these are nothing but SCAMS!!) Ironically the Chinese calender is observing the year of the tiger in 2010!
Tiger is basically a very shy and reclusive animal, which prefer solitude and they will NEVER attack humans unless it is threatened. ‘The man eaters of Sunderbans’ is a misnomer considering the fact that they do not eat and kill humans. Nonetheless, if their regular source of food including the herbivores down the food chain like the wild buffalo, deer and boar are in short supply and their natural habitat gets smaller by the day due to the greed of man, it is quite natural for them to turn their gaze to the domestic animals and even man. Tigers normally have only 1-2 cubs in a litter and the infant mortality is very high, making the survival chances really bleak. The new born tiger cubs face threats from even smaller predators like hyena and only a fraction of them make it to their adulthood. So, as responsible citizens of India, it becomes our duty to ensure the safety and survival of these majestic animals, which has graced the glossy pages of Indian tourist brochures for eons of years!