TIGERS OF TWO CATEGORIES
Tiger is the national animal of India. Of all the wild animals, tiger is the most beautiful one, with black stripes across its golden brown colours that will simmer like a polished glass in the sun.
A well grown tiger measures more than nine feet length! Unlike the lions that live in the open ground, tigers love spending time by staying in the waters. Though it is a ferocious animal by nature, lost all tigers are man-eaters!
What makes one a man-eating tiger? There are so many reasons to it. Old age, lack of teeth, physical disability to give a long hard chase, perhaps a wound in their paws, or by mistake they might have tasted human blood before – any one of these attributes for a tiger to turn into a man-eater!
A young, healthy tiger, free from all these disabilities, do not kill a man unless provoked. Jim Corbett, the legendary British hunter who lived in the early 20th century in Nainital, had killed as many as 429 man-eaters, including lions, leopards and cheetahs! Of all these, the toll of tigers is more.
In those days, there were many dense forests in the northern part of India. The population was very less. So, the wild animals were frequently sneaking into the village to kill the cattle. At times, they would kill men also.
Under such circumstances, Jim Corbett was summoned by the local administration, the collector, to shoot and kill the man-eaters. Of all the districts, it was Komayun where Corbett had
encountered more number of them. Nowadays, especially after the SPCA was formed, killing an animal is an offence. In addition, as the number of tigers have thinned down, more importance is given to preserve this ancient heritage animal, under “Project Tiger” drive. Now the population of tigers is increasing continually. Now it is put at 1411.
By killing 429 man-eaters, Jim Corbett’s name has figured in the Guinness Book of World Records. No hunter had ever killed as many as he did. It was he (Jim Corbett) who said that of all the animals, tigers are beautiful animals.