It seems more Rudyard Kipling novel than 2013 news, but so it is. I know there are coyotes in the Bronx, black bears in Jersey City… but they don’t seem to be looking to actually dine on humans (their focus seems to be merely our refuse and small pets). A man-eating tiger seems much more extreme to me. Frankly all the human/animal interactions here seem more extra — from Jumbos (elephants) to mozies (mosquitos). In fact forest preserver rangers were delayed in responding to the man-eating tiger because they had to drive a pack of wild jumbos from a farm on the other side of the preserve. (And I thought my job entitled triage…)
Getting back to the man-eating tiger. He seems to be from nearby Bandipur Forest Reserve, which I’ve visited briefly (see my earlier post). Although the authorities ordered him to be shot, a group of veterinarians formed a possee to find and tranquillize him. The doctor who tranquillized him, Dr Sanath, was riding a Jumbo named Kanthi to track the tiger. (Seriously, a posse of tiger shooting, elephant riding vets?!? I mean, of course, of course. I should have gone to vet school! It sounds so Indian Jones.) Good shot, Dr Sanath!
The tiger is a “huge” 12 yo male. Perhaps pushed to edge of the preserve by younger, stronger males. Reportedly, he has worn thru his lower role of teeth and that means that he would starve if left in the wild. Thus, he’ll be kept in a zoo. (Color me jaded, but he seems to be feeding himself quite well on his own. However, perhaps retirement in a zoo is better than being shot on sight… Which is what the local villagers were advocating. )
Lions and [man-eating] tigers and bears — oh my!