World

Are All Tigers Man-Eaters?

Recently, I overheard someone say that all tigers are man-eaters. Though I couldn’t correct them then, I gave it serious thought and realised that many people have this misconception about tigers. Not denying the fact that a tiger will attack a human, but in most cases a tiger will avoid human contact – one because of it’s nature and the also because the humans don’t provide much meat and they like the taste of wild game more. Some have even claimed that the  tigers don’t like the taste of the human meat as it has a salty taste (this is debatable).

Usually if a tiger does become a man-eater, there is a reason behind it. It is either because it has become old and the teeth have been worn out and so it can’t kill a wild animal successfully or if it is sick or injured and can not hunt for itself.

However, there are a few tigers, like the ones in the Sunderbans, who have developed the taste for human flesh. It is still a mystery as to why they do this, as these animals are young and healthy. Some say that they protect their territory and others that the salty water that they drink make them irritable.

These tigers however never enter human settlements. They only attack the humans who enter deep into the mangrove forests. Another fact is that they only attack from behind, as a result people who enter the forests wear a mask on the back of their heads. After adopting this method, the attacks on humans have greatly decreased. However, once a tiger becomes a man-eater, he has to be killed to protect the humans of that area.

The question I ask is: Are the tigers wrong in killing humans in their territory or are the humans wrong by entering it?