Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Man Eating Tigers

In 1937 Colonel Jim Corbett famously shot and killed a man-eating tigress in India who had killed and eaten 436 people. Her appetite for soft, slow moving flesh was the result of a bullet that damaged her teeth so maybe she was just getting back at her attackers. It is estimated 3 out of 1,000 tigers will attack people versus the 12.5 out of 1,000 humans who were involved in violent crimes in Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan, the city with the highest murder rate in the U.S. in 2005.

In 1986, the Indian government issued masks to groups of workers to thwart tiger attacks. Because tigers almost always attack from the rear, the thought was a mask worn on the back of the head would confuse the tigers enough to prevent attacks. This worked for awhile, until the smart cats figured it out. Of all sub-species of tiger, it is the Bengal which has gained the worst reputation as a man-eater. Approx. 80% of them live in India. According to this great website, if things continue as they are it is predicted the Royal Bengal tiger could be extinct by 2010, ironically the next 'Year of the Tiger.'

My wish would be that as much effort as goes into fixing Detroit's problems can be applied to saving the tiger.

Photo courtesy of Sphere: Related Content

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