Showing posts from July, 2022

When predator becomes prey. Tiger feeding on a leopard.

This video on Twitter shows a tiger feeding on a leopard in Ranthambore National Park, India. There is no unwritten rule between these top predators that they leave each other alone. The tiger is dominant and the top predator. In India, Arjan Singh raised three leopards who, he said, had "an instinctive dread of tigers". They would flee when they came across the scent of a tiger according to Mel and Fiona Sunquist in their book While Cats of the World . Screenshot. Singh said that when he was out with one of his pet leopards a tigress crossed the road and he observed a change in the leopard's behaviour and "as we came within 50 yards of the point at which the tigress had disappeared, her demeanour changed entirely.". The leopard's "high-spirited desire to lead the way evaporated". He said that she went into a crouch as she "slunk towards the big cat's trail and disappeared into the bushes". When predator becomes a prey. Got to witness

How long do tigers live in the wild and in captivity?

The question in the title has been prompted by a report in The Sun newspaper today in which they state that the world's oldest Bengal tiger, Raja, has just died at the extraordinary age of 25. And for the last 14 years of his life, he lived with three legs because one of them was ripped off in a crocodile attack. Raja. Photo: JAM PRESS/NEWSLIONS So captive tigers can live to a relatively advanced age. My research indicates that captive tigers have lived for as long as 26 years, and 20 years is not uncommon. There is even a report of a female giving birth in captivity to a single cub at the Rotterdam Zoo at 17 years of age. Note: If you want a reference for this information, please ask in a comment. In the wild, as you might expect, tiger lifespan is much shorter and a female is undoubtedly doing well if she reaches 14 or 15 years of age. The Internet tells me that tigers in the wild might live to about the age of 10. However, there are different opinions on this. Some say that tig

Why should tigers be protected and saved?

Tigers are becoming extinct in the wild year-on-year. This is despite the best efforts of conservationists. Their efforts aren't enough in the face of exploitation by big business such as the traditional Chinese medicine marketplace which results in poaching Bengal tigers in India for example. The carcasses are shipped over via Thailand. It's horrible. There are other reasons such as habitat destruction which gets worse as human population grows. So, tigers are going extinct in the wild. Bengal tiger in Nepal. Image: Nepalese government. Why protect them? Well, I can think of two main reasons (1) tigers are an iconic species with which we share the planet. They were here before us. And (2) top predators have a very important place in the ecosystem. Iconic species Do we, humans, have a right to eradicate such a beautiful, iconic species from the planet with whom we are meant to share nature? I don't think we have the right to kill them off. We think we do but that's beca

Black tiger cub in the wild

This tiger cub with their mother is described as a 'black tiger cub in the wild' by the ranger in his tweet. The cub is not entirely black. It is only melanistic wild cats which are near black with faint markings. This cub is what is called a pseudo-melanistic tiger cub. It brings to mind a pseudo-melanistic tiger cub that was born in Oklahoma zoo but was killed by their mother. The cub's body was preserved as a curiosity.  Black tiger cub in the wild. Image: Twitter page of Susanta Nanda. This is due to a genetic mutation. If this is a recessive genetic mutation, which it is as far as I know, the inbreeding of the tiger is going to allow this mutated recessive gene to come forward and show itself in terms of phenotype i.e. the appearance of the tiger.  It is only through inbreeding that this recessive gene has the chance to work and dictate the nature of the coat. To the best of my knowledge, there are no confirmed reports of pure black non-striped tigers i.e. true melan

Tiger with an elephant calf kill

The tweet states that other than humans the tiger is the only predator of the elephant but of course it has to be a baby elephant. Tigers are famous for killing any animal that puts themselves in a vulnerable position. Few animals are immune to tiger predation. Tigers do kill animals that are considerably larger than themselves such as water buffalo but there are records of tigers being killed by these animals after a long and deadly struggle. Adult rhinoceroses and elephants are rarely killed. But they are killed sometimes and, certainly rarely, a baby elephant is killed as evidenced in this video. Tiger with an elephant calf kill. A very rare happening, but can happen in the wild. Other than humans, tiger happens to be the only predator that attacks the elephant in India. Normally they don’t attack adult elephant, but they do follow herds with juvenile elephants. (WA fwd ) — Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) July 2, 2022 Note : This is an embedded twe