E.A. Smythies recorded that
between 1929 and 1938, 1074 tigers were shot in reserved forests
of the United Provinces. The Central Provinces accounted for 143
tigers shot during 1929-30 and 118 shot in 1930-31. These
figures indicate that the population of tigers was largest in
United Provinces and Central Provinces. Mysore recorded 54
tigers being shot in 1937-38, while 51 were shot in Bengal. Most
of the tigers shot were male (70%), indicating the population of
males was higher than the females.
The colour of
tiger in Rajasthan is a light red ochre, but the rare white
tiger has been found in Rewa, while black tigers are found in
the North-East. The tiger has a keen sense of sight and hearing
but a poor sense of smell. In one instance, there was no more
than five or six feet separating the shikari and the
tiger, and though the shikari could smell the tiger
strongly, the tiger was doubtful and kept taking deep breaths to
make out what it was. However, this is not to say that they have
no sense of smell. The tiger loves to swim but it rarely climbs
a tree. It kills its prey by bringing them down and then seizing
the animal by the throat. Large prey are usually brought down by
hamstringing and once down seizing its throat.
It is the
female that approaches the male during the mating period. In a
day, the averge mating is 22 times. The gestation period is 103
days, but the pregnancy occures in 22 cases out of 48 matings.
tiger is an intelligent animal, it resorts to attacking
porcupines as it relishes its meat. In most cases, it receives
the quills which form into festering sores and ulcers, often
becoming the reason for it turning into a maneater.
make formidable foes, but it is doubtful whether a large pack
will attack a tiger. It has been recorded however, that disputes
over kills do occur." Two instances of wild dogs attacking
tigers are recorded. In one, the tiger was mauled by the dogs,
while in the second story, related by Connel, 22 dogs attacked a
tiger over a kill. The ferocious dogs cared not for death, even
after 12 of them lay dead and some were badly injured. They
killed and ate the tiger. The author comments ‘A good story
but probably only a story’. Wild dogs can take on a leopard
but dare not take on a tiger or a lion.
been known to have killed bears but it is rare. Corbett wrote of
one instance when a tiger and a bear collided into each other
and then ran of into different directions. The tiger is the only
animal that can frighten the elephant and the elephant shys away
from a tiger’s charge. Tigers have been known to have killed
uncommon in South India, and in this century, except for
occasional lapses, tigers have rarely preyed on man. Man- eating
tigers are common in the Sunderbans and the Kumaon. Why that has
been so has not been satisfactorily explained. The most common
cause of an animal becoming a man- eater is injury from gun
shots or porcupine or accident, which prevents an animal from
killing its ordinary prey.
as a sport dates back to the Mughals when it was a sport for
kings. It became a popular sport during the British rule.
E.P. Gee estimates the
population of elephants in India to be 7000, while there are
4000 tigers and 6000 leopards. He estimates that the population
of tiger and leopards over 10 times 50 years ago. Today, there
are 27 isolated tiger reserves but they are beset with problem
of poaching and the author considers the survival of tiger in
the wild to be bleak. With no census having being done, the data
is only a premise. But some tigers are better than none at all.