Tigers killed more than 100 people in India in 3 years

It is reported that Bengal tigers killed more than 100 people in India in three years. In fact, 108 died between 2019 and last year according to junior environment minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey in Parliament.

The human conflict with the Bengal tiger is an ongoing problem. It is brought about because of a lack of space. India is a highly populated country. Tigers require very large amounts of territory in order to behave naturally. The tiger reserves in India are arguably too small. At least some of them are. And you will get settlements on the outskirts of tiger reserves and you will even see people living inside the reserves. To an outsider that seems strange.

A tiger walks past a vehicle carrying tourists at Ranthambore National Park, India.
A tiger walks past a vehicle carrying tourists at Ranthambore National Park, India. Photo in public domain.

You will get farmers being attacked by tigers. In the Sundarbans which straddle the border with Bangladesh, there appears to be more human-tiger conflict than in other tiger reserves. This is probably because there are more farmers in that area.

India is really the home of the tiger and they have a massive challenge in protecting it. They keep counting the number of tigers they have and it varies year-on-year. Apparently, at Inia's last official count in 2018 they decided that there were 2,967 tigers in their country. This was up from 1,411 tigers in 2006.

I have always believed that there are about 3,500 Bengal tigers left in the world in the wild. There are about 400 Siberian tigers. You can see, therefore, that in the wild the tiger is highly endangered. The numbers are precarious.

The habitat continues to decline and they are still poached for tiger body parts to supply the Chinese traditional medicine market which is highly objectionable. And in Asia wealthy people like to eat the tiger for various superstitious reasons.

The most human deaths by tiger occurred in the state of Maharashtra with 56. This western state has nearly 400 tigers and five tiger reserves.

In Uttar Pradesh 17 people were killed in tiger attacks. In 2019, eight were killed and four were killed in 2020. Five were killed in 2021.

Last year, Mr Choubey said that a total of 14 people were killed by tigers which is a decrease from 15 2019. This relates to Uttar Pradesh by the way. He said that the Indian government was taking steps to reduce human-tiger conflict by dispersing tigers and relocating them.

One problem, as touched on above, is that there has been an expansion of human settlements into tiger habitats in India.

At least 126 tigers died last year according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority. This is the highest in many years. By "died" they mean either by natural causes or killed. Some of the deaths have been blamed on poachers while others were caused by accidents and natural causes.

Between 2018 and 2020 there were 303 tiger deaths of which 60 were caused by poaching, said the authority.

The tiger is India's national animal and was declared that in 1971. Harming them or trading in their body parts is a criminal offence. There appears to be a lack of proper enforcement of this law in India.

India has made concerted efforts to protect the tiger but the tiger-human conflict continues. Last Monday, in Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh, a teenage boy was mauled to death in a suspected tiger attack. And on the same day the authorities in northern Uttarakhand went in search of a tiger to kill it because it was blamed for killing at least six people over the past three months.


Popular posts from this blog

What do tigers eat in the jungle?

Mythology in China - Bai Hu (white tiger)

Can tigers meow?