Only some time back I wrote an article “Beauty in skin deep” in TANVIR MedicalCare. However, I further added that height and figure are other parameters of beauty. Also, how one carries oneself, talks, walks and behaves come under which beauty is measured by humans.
If we apply the same yardstick to animals, than some animals will score very highly. One of them is Tiger. It has a beautiful lovely skin with colorful stripes in a particular pattern. The Tiger is tall and has an excellent figure. It behaves in a very dominating way, almost majestic but less than the Lion. Its walk is not only powerful but graceful as well. It has a large skull with powerful piercing eyes and when it looks at you, it pierces through your heart (well almost!). All these beauty incentives from nature make Tiger one of the most beautiful animals on the planet.
However, the Tiger’s physical beauty is only matched by its legendary strength, stealth, cunning and ferocity. All this makes the Tiger one of the ultimate predators alongside the Lion. Obviously, humans are the premier hunters and predators if we want to bracket ourselves with Lions and Tigers. It is this desire to come first in this race, which over the last many thousand and millions of years has driven humans to hunt Tigers and Lions.
However, this hunting competition was fairer when humans used to hunt with bow, arrow, swords, and spears. Now the same game is played with automatic rifles, telescopic guns, dynamite etc. that is totally biased against the Tigers and Lions. Now instead of being a game of bravery and skills, it’s a matter of cowardice and shame to kill these beautiful animals from far off. If fighting Tiger and Lions was valor with bow & arrow and sword, now its utter cowardice, which no right thinking person can justify.
However, its not just the hunting weapons that have changed, humans are encroaching the homes of these beautiful animals at a very fast pace, destroying their homes and habitat. So, in total we have not only become coward but greedy. The humans are breeding faster than these poor animals can eat their hard earned meals. Therefore, our cowardly game against Tigers and Lions is a sham to bolster our depleted manhood. We need to learn better ways to do that.
Obviously in any hand to hand combat with the Tiger, the Tiger will win in a time less than it takes us take two deep breaths. But such is the self glorification and bias we humans have inculcated in ourselves that to satisfy this lacuna, we are ready to do almost anything, including killing the Tiger. But its just not the people who kill Tigers who indulge in this self glorification, everybody down the chain from middleman, so called traditional medical practitioners, to last end user indulge in this project tiger hunt induced self glorification. This is the core of the danger to the Tiger.
However, we humans have not become the apex intelligence for nothing. We possess the necessary intelligence and control to curb this instinct of self-glorification. We can do this and that will save the Tiger, nothing less will do.
Another important aspect of Tiger conservation is the fact that Tigers are solitary hunters who require a large territory to satisfy their food and sexual demands. In addition, they need their prey to be plentiful in their territory to survive. Thus, destruction of Tiger prey is as important a cause of depleting Tiger numbers, as is the hunting of them. We humans are using the grasslands on which Tiger preys feed, to feed the cattle stock. This means less Tiger prey population. This means less successful hunting by the Tiger and consequently its demise.
Thus putting a barbed wire fence around Tiger reserves and maintaining it will protect the grasslands on which Tiger prey feeds and will protect the Tiger consequently.
Than we can have a Tiger Task Force, a group of trained police personnel who will see that the fence is not breached and the Tiger territory grasslands are protected. They will ensure that there is not only no cattle breach but also that there is no poacher breach. This way a single Tiger Task Force can do multiple works. This Tiger Task Force can also maintain the entry of tourists to these Tiger territories and maintain a ticket system which should self sustain this Tiger Task Force.
However, a Tiger Task Force is part of the solution. The other is to have a larger International Wildlife Task Force which will have international permit to travel anywhere around the world to hunt down the poachers and to confiscate Tiger kill material. To think that 7.5 billion people can be educated to give up their self glorification instinct will be foolish, not that we have to abandon efforts in this direction.
Wider use of Tiger Task Force and use of existing and if needed newer laws to arrest the poacher chain right till the end user is of paramount importance to curb this Tiger killing which is mainly for financial profits and self glorification.
In addition, we have to educate the people in areas where consumption of Tiger parts is more, that more effective alternative methods and treatment are available for the same ailments and request them to spare the Tiger. Eating Tiger parts is not going to make you into a Tiger but acting like one will do!
I also think that some important work is going on to save the Tiger. Declaring Tiger as a national animal is one of them. Already India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea have Tiger as their National animal. This makes killing of Tiger a crime. Also these countries have good Tiger population and making it the National animal raises awareness about the dangers to these beautiful animals.
Another very strong reason for a self-gratification killing of a Tiger is that they have been portrayed as the monstrous man-eating animals in the media. This prejudice and bias against the Tiger has to be removed.
This again shows the importance of maintain Tiger prey population in their territories. Because instead of deers, sambhars, antelopes, nilgais roaming their territory, they find humans defecating and urinating in their territory, they are justified in getting annoyed and take punitive action against the culprit!
Tigers have an extremely well developed olfactory system to smell things. The Tiger marks its territory by its urine and feces. The Tiger recognizes its territory and that of other Tigers by smelling the urine and feces. In addition to seeing its prey, the Tiger also recognizes its prey by their urine and fecal odor. The Tiger is also able to make out the size of the urinating or defecating prey. Therefore, when humans enter Tiger territory, defecate, and urinate, the Tiger immediately recognizes this scent as meaning potential prey of appropriate and hunt able size. They follow this scent right to the house of human prey. If the Tiger is hungry and the human defecator/ urinator is not well protected, the Tiger can attack such a human, kill it, and make a meal out of it. So, beware of defecating and urinating in Tiger territory. You can become Tiger fodder because of it. We Mesopotamians have invented flushing toilets just for the purpose of avoiding such a problem and preventing the Tiger from becoming a man-eater.
Therefore, instead of accusing the Tiger of being a man-eater and a monster, we should show some civic sense, some culture and human civilization by attending to defecation and urination in Mesopotamian invented flushing toilets only and not in Tiger territory. How will you feel if the Tiger comes to your house, defecate, and urinate in your kitchen?
Smelling the feces and urine of humans is how Tigers recognize their human prey and if the Tiger becomes or its normal prey is unavailable, or it feels threatened, than such a Tiger can follow this human fecal and urine trail and hunt such a human. However, once it enters a human community where so many people are living close together, it loses the trail of the scent. In such a scenario, the Tiger can attack the nearest human or the weakest because in such a situation, all humans seem alike and as trespassers. The moral of the story is that don’t defecate and urinate in Tiger territory, use toilets invented by Mesopotamians!
“The cat family consists of pantherinae (tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard) and Felinae (cougar, cheetah, lynxes, ocelot and domestic cat). In the past, this also included Machairodontinae (Saber toothed cats like smilodon). These are mostly carnivorous animals that can climb trees.
However, similar to the evolution of apes, cat family members have also evolved from one ancestor. Each cat family member has evolved from a different but similar genotypic and phenotypic dinosaur mammal.
The smaller dinosaur mammals, which could climb trees easily, evolved into leopards, cougar, and cats. Larger dinosaur mammals, which found climbing difficult, evolved into tigers, lions.However, because of genotype and phenotype similarities of ancestor dinosaur mammals from which cat family members have evolved, they look similar and act similar.Over a period of several million years because of similar phenotype and genotype characteristics and similar environmental conditions they have been exposed to, they have formed groups which seem to be very similar and it may look that they have evolved from one common ancestor but in reality each has evolved from a different but similar dinosaur mammal. Because all are carnivorous, they need to hunt and hence have evolved similar hunting mechanisms like retractile claws, muscular bodies, fast reflexes and strong canines. All these features help these cats hunt the herbivores feeding on grasslands.”
From the above enlightenment it’s clear that the size of the cat family has increased in direct proportion to the prey size. Therefore, as the prey became larger, the cats had to be larger and more powerful to hunt them.
In addition, I understand that the demand for Tiger parts is the primary reason for poaching of Tigers. In spite of the above measures and already existing ones, the demand for Tiger parts is not going to end too soon. For it to happen will require some time but time is something, which Tigers do not have?
Therefore, an alternative plan is as follows. Tigers generally live from 16 to 25 years. Therefore, it makes sense to tag all Tigers with a electronic tracking devise in their tails. This should be done in all 2-year-old Tigers. Once the Tiger reaches the age of 16 to 18 years, it can be considered old, and is going to die anyway. Such old Tigers should be captured and killed. Than an International Group Authority can auction various parts of this Tiger(s) in the International market. This will ensure a healthy, youthful, breeding Tiger population.
Of all the means that we have discussed of protecting and preserving the Tiger, protecting and maintaining the integrity of Tiger territory and its ecosystem and habitat is the most important. Other methods will assist in the process.