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article imageOp-Ed: Man eating tigress kills 9 people in India

By Paul Wallis     Feb 7, 2014 in Environment
Sydney - The score is 9-0 in favor of a tigress in Uttar Pradesh. The tigress, in Jim Corbett National Park, has defied all attempts to kill it. The area is described as densely wooded, and wildlife officers have been unable to find her.
Sydney Morning Herald via AFP defines the issues:
While tiger-hunting has long been illegal in India, the Uttar Pradesh state government has licensed six hunters to either capture or kill the tigress who has terrorised local villagers.
India is home to half the world's dwindling tiger population which now stands at around 3000. Although attacks are rare, a loss of their natural habitat has brought man and beast into closer proximity. (The Jim Corbett National Park, named after a hunter, is actually a hyperactive tourist resort.)
Even conservationists say that once a tiger has tasted human flesh more than once it is almost impossible to rehabilitate it and that killing the animal is the only responsible option.
The other issues are a bit more complex.
The global population of tigers is now about 6000. A combination of ridiculous, cowardly Great White Hunters, and poachers for bogus Chinese medicine have decimated the numbers of one of the world’s great predators. 97% of the tiger population has been destroyed in 100 years.
The theory that tigers taste human flesh and can’t be rehabilitated dates from the Victorian era. In fact, humans were natural prey for the big cats including smaller cats like leopards, for a large part of prehistory. Until humans invented weapons, they were the easy option for predators, far slower and much less dangerous than other prey.
The spread of the psychotic, get-everything-wrong slum rather oddly called civilization has also destroyed habitat for most of the big predators around the world. Other civilizations revered the tiger as the epitome of nature and fierce courage. The modern mindset is a combination of detachment from nature and “guns as solutions”.
The problem of proximity to wild areas obviously hasn’t really been solved. It’s unrealistic to expect tigers to read maps about restrictions on their territory. It’s equally unrealistic to have apparently vulnerable people in dangerous areas.
What is a tiger supposed to do, when confronted with a human? Start a social media group? Enrol in an accountancy course? It’s a tiger, for god’s sake, not a tour guide.
Nor should wild animals be held responsible for human stupidity. In Australia, crocodiles take people regularly when they stray into croc territory. This is despite a lot of local knowledge, warnings, signs, and the reputation of the crocs as maneaters. Ignorance can be and is fatal.
A tiger is a tiger. Respect the facts. Just catch this one and release it into a remote area.
Footnote: It’s sad to think that this will probably be one of the last articles ever written on this subject. Another species of beautiful animals is being destroyed by worshippers of dollars and apologists for human ignorance. I just wanted to acknowledge a magnificent type of animal while I could.
Next up on global media- Some herd of morons on a red carpet, followed by a crime show and political "news".
Go to hell.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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