Tiger Tales – The Untold Miseries of Tigers in India

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Thanks to Aircel – “Save our tigers” campaign, we at least got to know, there are only 1411 tigers left in India. A majestic animal found abundantly in our country, is now on the verge of being endangered. When you look up for the word “wild animals” on the internet, lions and tigers top the list. Wild animals are called so because they cannot be tamed, causing potential threats to the humankind, fearing us of death. On the contrary, can you imagine a situation where humankind poses a threat to these wild animals? Can you believe that tigers run into their dens fearing humans?

7a6ca2e25c5db26efb2d9a10afeb4a5f-198435807-1300407130-4d82a35a-620x348  It is universally accepted that tigers kill humans and other animals. But they do so only for their survival. Tigers don’t kill for pleasure. They don’t kill to express their dominance. They don’t kill without a purpose. But we humans do. There were 40,000 tigers in our country at the beginning of the twentieth century i.e. 1900. But right now, there are only 1411 tigers left as we all know. This decrease in number of tigers is majorly a consequence of ruthless hunting and poaching adopted by the Mughal emperors and the British who ruled India over the years.

Killing of a mature male leads to the destruction of reproduction for an entire community of tigers. But poachers always considered killing old male tigers as an expression of their heroism and dominance over other animals. On the 12th of December, 1911, George V along with King Wales went on a hunting party to the foot of Himalayas in Nepal under the guidance of the local king, Rana. King Rana arranged for a camp at the desired location. This camp housed 14,000 soldiers, 300 elephants and abundant arms for the hunting party.

Lord Curzon and his wife Mary Curzon with the tiger they poached.
Lord Curzon and his wife Mary Curzon with the tiger they poached.

Two or three days prior to hunting, mustard oil and rubber were mixed to the water bodies which tigers drank from. Mustard oil and rubber stuck to their mouths when they consumed water out of these bodies. The tigers then use their paws to wipe themselves which results in spreading of oil to their eyes and hence the loss of their eyesight. These tigers are forced out of their habitat by setting fire to the grass around their dens (or) encircling them with elephants and armed forces. The hunting party killed over 39 tigers in a period of five days.

This is not confined to the tigers alone. It extends to the rhinos, the elephants and the deer as well. Statistics says that only 20% of these animals are alive today. Emperor Jahangir has killed 28,532 tigers, Raja Raguraj Singh 91 tigers, Raja Bhavadev 121 tigers and Raja Gulab Singh 616 tigers in a similar fashion. This left behind just 1800 tigers according to a census taken in 1973.

God created this world with millions and millions of living organisms and each one of them are essential components required to maintain a balance in the environment. How tigers we think might not be of any use to us, we might also not be of any use to them. So, the next time we do something that harms the environment or any other living organism, we need to keep in mind that, “the world does not belong to us, we are only a small part of it”.

 

 

Sruthi Muthu

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I am Sruthi, a Bio-medical Engineering stud at SSN College of Engineering at Chennai. Passionate about reading, writing, craft and doodling. Great foodie, constantly in search for restaurants. Any comments, mail me at sruthimuthu@gmail.com.

 

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